Toronto FC skipper Michael Bradley unfazed at boos, blunt about Columbus
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2017, file photo, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams, right, pulls Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, left, during first-half MLS soccer game action in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:02AM EST
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The chorus of boos that greeted Michael Bradley's every touch of the ball Tuesday night was water off the back of the Toronto FC captain.
"I've got bigger things to worry about that than whether a few people in Columbus don't like me," Bradley said dryly after Toronto's 0-0 tie with the Columbus Crew SC in Game 1 of the MLS Eastern Conference final Tuesday night.
Bradley, who is also the U.S. captain, and fellow U.S. international Jozy Altidore has been subject to boos at American away games ever since the failed U.S. World Cup qualifying campaign.
Altidore, who was suspended for Tuesday's game, got the night off in terms of fan abuse.
Bradley was blunt when asked about the uncertainty of the Columbus team's future, with the threat of a move to Austin, Texas, if a new stadium solution can't be found.
"On one hand you feel for the small group of loyal supporters that they have, who have been here since the beginning, who continue to support the team and come out week after week," said Bradley, no stranger to playing at Mapfre Stadium in U.S. colours.
"On the other hand, you can't deny the fact that things here have really fallen behind, in terms of the atmosphere of the stadium, the quality of the stadium, what it's like to play here.
"I don't know who's at fault for that. There's a lot going on and I get that. And like I said as an outsider, I don't know what that falls on. But again the reality is just that as the league has continued to grow and grow -- and this is not the only one, but this is one of a few markets that has not kept pace."
Many fans at the sold-out game Tuesday, Columbus' biggest crowd of the year, carried signs saying ".SaveOurCrew."