The story about how Jurgen Klinsmann came to casually dismiss MLS in that manner of his that sweats ebullient nonchalance is codified in Reddit’s MLS scrolls now. He skirted the edge of things, dancing upon its razor by neither overtly diving in nor staying out entirely. Klinsmann is a curling eyebrow in the midst of an overheated argument about Donald Trump in a Shriners backroom in Des Moines, Iowa. He is inviting you to see into the layers he’s creating but never implicating himself directly. He knows the ramifications of speaking directly, and so he does not.
So when he says Bradley “has to prove he hasn’t lost a bit” by going to Toronto FC, he was neither saying TFC was beneficial to his development nor overtly detrimental. He is playing to his base without kneecapping his wider bloc. He is politicking.
The story, though, was not about Klinsmann’s comment. It was about Bradley’s body language. This AP story from Eric Adelson in the aftermath of Klinsmann’s initial comments fills a volume the length of Gibbon’s Roman histories.