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Toronto FC to keep Bradley for key games as he avoids national team call-up

10/06/2014 08:28 EDT | Updated 12/06/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - It appears U.S. national team coach Juergen Klinsmann is giving Toronto FC a break.

Klinsmann did not include star Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley in his 21-man roster for an international friendly Friday against Ecuador in East Hartford, Conn.

That frees up Bradley to play in key MLS games Wednesday against the visiting Houston Dynamo and Saturday on the road against the New York Red Bulls.

With four games remaining in the regular season, sixth-place Toronto (11-12-7) is on the playoff bubble in the Eastern Conference.

In announcing his roster for the Ecuador game, Klinsmann said changes are expected for the subsequent Oct. 14 friendly with Honduras in Boca Raton, Fla. Bradley is expected to be called up for that game, which does not bump heads with the TFC schedule.

The U.S.-Ecuador game marks Landon Donovan's national team swan song.

Other MLS call-ups were goalkeepers Nick Rimando and Bill Hamid, defenders Omar Gonzalez and DeAndre Yedlin and midfielder Luis Gil.

Eight MLS youngsters, including Vancouver Whitecaps rookie defender Christian Dean, have been summoned for the U.S under-23 team's camp in Brazil next week.

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