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Soccer’s global market; where value, Michael Bradley and Geoff Cameron meet

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I happened to be writing something about Geoff Cameron when I first saw Michael Bradley’s sale price to Roma, $4.5 million.

So my first thought on the matter wasn’t actually about Bradley; it was about how the global player market may be far-reaching in geographic terms, but it’s so inextricably connected in a dollars and cents sense.

My thought: “If Michael Bradley is worth $4.5, then why would MLS balk at any price in the $2.5 million neighborhood for Geoff Cameron?”

Presumably, Stoke City is asking the same thing.

(MORE: What Michael Bradley’s move means)

Cameron wants to go. The English Premier League club wants him. Where the offers and counter offers stand, only the principals truly know. But the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz, who has dutifully tracked the Cameron transfer push and pull from the start, says Major League Soccer’s most recent counter-offer approached $3 million.

If Bradley’s price is a measuring stick, that looks a little high.

Bradley has risen beyond his former labeling as “solid international talent.” He’s Grade A stock now, not an international superstar just yet, but an upper echelon international, one who fetches interest from a blue ribbon club (Roma) in a blue ribbon league (Italy’s Serie A).

Cameron has proven himself to be among Major League Soccer’s top center backs. But he has yet to stake solid claim in a starting spot internationally, and that puts him miles behind Bradley. (So does the fact that it’s Stoke City, and not a power tie club like Roma, now in transfer window pursuit. No offense to Stoke; Roma simply sits higher on the club soccer totem pole.)

I suppose you could turn it around. If Cameron at around $3 million represents a truer market value, then Bradley at $4.5 million was a bargain bin price, and Roma just got away with a huge summer steal.