Well, yes and no.
According to Ives Galarcep Goal.com article:
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Klinsmann said when asked if he was concerned about Dempsey and Bradley being able to maintain their levels playing in MLS. “I made it clear with Clint’s move back and (Bradley’s) move back that it’s going to be very difficult for them to keep that same level that they experienced at the places where they were. It’s just reality. It’s just being honest.
“I want (Altidore) to get through the difficult time at Sunderland and maybe make a big step one day to a Champions League team in Europe because that’s where the top players in the world play,” Klinsmann said. “Now, making the step back, I totally get it. It’s a huge financial offer. It’s also connected to many other elements and this league is getting better and stronger every year which we are all very proud about, and I want everyone to grow in this environment, but the reality also is that for both players, making that step means that you are not (in the) competitive environment that you were in before.
“I think he’s been faced with a very, very difficult year,” Klinsmann said of Bradley. “Making that decision to go from Roma, a Champions League team, to Toronto, that now seems like they’re not even qualifying for the playoffs, it’s a huge disappointment. That comes along with that you adjust yourself to whatever environment you’re in.
“He had to adjust to the environment he’s in with Toronto instead maybe an environment that plays Champions League football,” Klinsmann said. “He’s going through that experience now and still coming in. For the first time since the World Cup, he has to prove that he hasn’t lost a bit. Obviously, he’ll keep working and pushing, but it’s down to him and his environment to see what he’s capable to play in.”
I can see and even agree that Michael Bradley’s move from Roma to Toronto was a horrendous mistake. While I don’t think Bradley suddenly “forgot” how to play soccer, he did go from a situation at a top-level club playing in one of the top leagues against top players everyday down to a team with significantly less talent playing dysfunctionally against other teams with less talent than what he played with and against in Roma. There is no way anyone with a reasonable amount of sense can say that Bradley will be playing BETTER in Toronto that he was at Roma. The best you can hope for is that he doesn’t get any worse, and I’d say he has gotten worse. Toronto was bad when he arrived and they’re still bad and they should feel bad.
Dempsey’s move was a little different. Yes, he was playing very well over in England and was very well-respected. However, Tottenham had a new coach, one that didn’t want to use Dempsey and effectively pushed him out the door. He was also starting onto the tail end of his career, whereas Bradley (should) be on the upswing. His choices were languish on the bench, maybe try to hop on to another EPL club, or cash a big paycheck and come home to MLS. Seattle has been a good club and Dempsey has played well for them. I can’t say it was the right choice, but it was certainly a reasonable one.
Altidore is in a completely different boat. Whereas both Bradley and Dempsey were playing well overseas for quality teams, Altidore is not. He’s only scored one goal in 34 matches for Sunderland (usually a mid to lower table team) after scoring 39 in 67 games with AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands). The few times I’ve seen Sunderland play they seem to aimlessly punt the ball down the field, but I can’t say that’s how they always play. Regardless, he just doesn’t seem to fit into Sunderland’s style and maybe even all the EPL since he also only scored one goal in his first stint in the EPL with Hull City. He needs to move “somewhere” and get quality minutes. Obviously a best case would be to move to a top-flight european team and light up the scoreboard, but if he can’t get that you can’t convince me that he’s better off at the end of the bench at a mediocre EPL club than scoring goals in a second tier league like MLS, Netherlands, or heck even Mexico or Brazil.
I know personally I’d be ecstatic to see him come to DC United.