As the MLS Press Tour continues on, it's not all stops at daytime television programs. Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, and the whole group of MLS stars have been speaking with print media as well. This morning they stopped in at the New York Times for a group interview, but they've also spoken to Sports Illustrated and some of the online only outlets as well.
The focus continues to be how much the league has changed in the years since Michael Bradley left, and what it means now that players at his point in his career coming back. Certainly if Clint Dempsey were available he'd be part of the story too, as the national media asks the question "what's made MLS the happening place to be".
In Bradley talking about why he chose Toronto to the New York Times, he admits enjoying his time at Roma but wanting to go somewhere that there was responsibility to take charge of a club. It's an aspect not often explored in the "Americans need to go to Europe to get better" narrative. That perspective values the advanced skills players can gain in Europe, but those players aren't always called on every weekend. Is it better to keep fighting for more time, or to go somewhere you'll be the centrepiece.
Alexi Lalas often gives the advice for youth soccer that if your child is the best player in their league, find a better league. Yet at the same time he's a clear sunshine pumper for MLS. It's a difficult line to find.
Donovan and Gonzalez don't feature prominently in the NY Times article, and to be fair the big story this season is Bradley coming home. Even in speaking to Sports Illustrated Donovan's answers are more on what these players coming back does for the league.
It's great that Toronto made these offseason moves. The league needs more tough teams than it does cupcakes.
There are also bloggier posts. NBC Sports had a reporter in Harrison NJ who spends two paragraphs talking about himself so, y'know, if that's what you're into. Fox Sports, a news agency, also filed.