By Fitzgerald Cecilio

Rome, Italy

American midfielder Michael Bradley has officially joined Serie A powerhouse A.S. Roma after signing a four-year deal with the Italian club.

Roma paid $4.6 million to Chievo to acquire the services of Bradley, who earned the monicker "Il Generale" during his playing career in Europe, plus half-ownership in Romanian youngster Adrian Stoian.

The Italian club announced that Bradley reported to the team's preseason training camp and went right to work under the direction of team's new coach, Zdenek Zeman, along with new teammates Gabriel Heinze, Claudio Pizarro, Aleandro Rosi and Francesco Totti.

Bradley is being developed as a midfield replacement for Fernando Gago, an on-loan player who has returned to Real Madrid.

At age 16, Bradley was drafted by the MetroStars in 2004, when the club was coached by his father Bob but did not see any playing time in his rookie season, missing out with a foot injury.

The next year, he gained a starting spot and played 30 out of 32 matches for the Metros. Weeks after his father was fired, he headed in his first professional goal in a dramatic victory over Chivas USA on the last day of the 2005 season, sending the team to the playoffs.

After his MLS stint, Michael headed to Europe where he played Heerenveen (Netherlands), Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany), Aston Villa (England) and Chievo.

Roma is scheduled to tour the U.S. this summer. It will play Poland's Zaglebie Lubin at Chicago's Wrigley Field July 22, fabled EPL club Liverpool at Fenway Park July 25 and then El Salvador in a rare club versus country matchup July 27 at Red Bull Arena.

Roma has been a consistent contender, finishing second in the league six times and winning the Coppa Italia in 2007 and 2008.

Last year, the club was taken over by a consortium led by Boston businessman Thomas DiBenedetto, making it the first Italian team owned by an American. DiBenedetto also holds a stake in the group that owns the Boston Red Sox.

Soccer - Serie A Powerhouse Roma Acquires Midfielder Michael Bradley