TFC's Michael Bradley bulldozes ref to the ground

Toronto FC defender Michael Bradley heads off the field to get medical attention against D.C....

Toronto FC defender Michael Bradley heads off the field to get medical attention against D.C. United at BMO Field on Saturday. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 PM ET

TORONTO - Part way through the second half of Saturdays TFC home opener, Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley went up to challenge for a ball and knocked heads with D.C. United midfielder Davy Arnaud.

The clash opened up a nasty gash in the back of the American internationals head. But instead of lying on the ground and rolling around the pitch in agony, as soccer players tend to do, Bradley hustled to the sideline, beckoned the TFC training staff over and waved his hand in a clockwise motion, a sign to the trainers to hurry up with the patch job so he could back on the pitch ASAP.

One things pretty certain: Bradley is going to become a huge fan favourite in this town, and not only because hes a world-class midfielder. The mans a whirling dervish, with an astonishing work ethic. On the pitch, he seems to be everywhere at all times. Hes exactly the type of athlete fans in this town fall in love with. Think Jerome Williams and John McDonald, but with much more talent. And hes a hard man. Sort of a Gary Roberts-type, but, again, with more talent. The Princeton, N.J. native is not exactly a blue-collar athlete, but he plays that way and Toronto sports fans dig that. Fellow Reds designated player Jermain Defoe will get the goals, but Bradley will undoubtedly endear himself to the fans in this town like few others have. Its all there. The team is on the rise, soccer is growing by leaps and bounds, and along comes a midfielder who plays hard, plays with skill and plays like a kid trying out for his first rep team. TFC coach Ryan Nelson was asked after his teams 1-0 win over D.C. United in their home opener at BMO Field if he was worried about Bradleys injury.

Hes running around the locker room showing it off to everyone at the moment, said Nelson, with a laugh. I think thats just another notch in his belt to tell you the truth. He enjoys those sorts of things.

Sounds like a hockey player. The games lone goal came as a result of Bradley slipping a lovely pass to Gilberto, who fired it on D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who made a nice save. Defoe then buried the rebound. But, again, Bradley was all over the pitch making things happen, both defensively and on offence, including slipping a nifty pass to Alvaro Rey, which almost resulted in a goal.

He even bulldozed over referee Silviu Petrescu, which resulted in a big round of applause from the BMO Field faithful. Nelsen didnt mix words when asked what he thinks Bradley will mean to the Reds this season.


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