There is a $6.5-million elephant in the room as Toronto FC prepares for its third MLS Cup final against the Seattle Sounders.
Toronto’s captain and longest-standing designated player, Michael Bradley, could be without a contract after Sunday if the Reds don’t hoist the cup. The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejkal reported on July 31 that TFC has a club option to pick up the 32-year-old defensive midfielder’s contract for 2020, at the same salary he made in 2019 — $6.5 million (U.S.), which was second in Major League Soccer to L.A. Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The option, they reported, will be triggered if Toronto wins Sunday’s final.
The club has not confirmed the report but TFC coach Greg Vanney seemingly alluded to it Wednesday.
“I’d like to think there’s going to be a solution and I’d think to that the solution is us winning and then we know he’s here,” Vanney said. “Hopefully we can get one more (win) this weekend and many more in the coming years.”
The idea of the Reds finishing the year as one of the last two teams standing may have seemed far-fetched at the end of July, when Toronto held a 9-9-5 record.