Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Skipper Michael Bradley Says Complaining about Calls Is a Cop-Out

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Skipper Michael Bradley Says Complaining about Calls Is a Cop-Out

Article excerpt

Bradley says complaining is a cop-out


TORONTO - Toronto FC's marathon road trip to start the season has four more games to go until the MLS team finally plays at home.

So far the journey has been somewhat bumpy with one win, two losses, one sending-off, one after-the-fact suspension, an unsuccessful red card appeal and a disallowed goal.

Midfielder Michael Bradley is no stranger to sharing his thoughts with or about referees. But the intense Toronto captain is keeping an even keel this time.

"Without any complaining, I think certainly we've been on the wrong end of a few decisions so far this year. But that's reality, that's life, that's football," he said after practice Thursday. "You hope as the year goes on that we'll get a few (calls) in our favour and I know that we will.

"After three games it's too early to be feeling sorry for ourselves. It's a cop-out and I think that we've got to still look at ourselves, know and understand what has been good but also realize that there's still a lot of room for improvement. And if we're able to keep pushing ourselves along, then we're going to have a good team. And we're going to have a team that in the end isn't subject to one bad call here, one bad call there. That in the end our quality is going to mean that we're going to be able to win games regardless."

For a franchise that has done its share of complaining in the past, it's a welcome voice of reason.

In July 2013 prior to Bradley's arrival, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment boss Tim Leiweke acknowledged his soccer team was "not catching any breaks." But he also sounded a warning to those who wanted to bitch about it.

"I tend to believe that sitting here and revisiting those calls doesn't serve much of a purpose," Leiweke said. "And so we probably have to as an organization spend less time bitching and more time just moving on and understanding that sometimes that's the way those calls are going to go."

The warning was probably aimed at then-manager Ryan Nelsen, a non-nonsense Kiwi whose blood pressure was rising by the week. …

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