Michael Bradley is the new captain of Toronto FC, TSN has learned.

Steven Caldwell, who has skippered the side since July 2013, was notified of the decision via a phone call from head coach Greg Vanney on Monday.

Although Toronto FC have made headlines with their acquisitions this offseason one of the biggest talking points in-house was who would be the captain of the side for the 2015 season.

Vanney was asked about that as early as November and the club spent the winter repeatedly saying that a decision would be made closer to the start of the season.

The decision has now been made.

It is not expected to be a popular one with Caldwell who was asked about the captaincy just last month when he returned for pre-season and was clear in what he wanted.

"I love being captain of this club," Caldwell said. "I've captained every team I've played for since I was 15. It's something I relish and enjoy. I think I'm quite good at it. It's a great honour to be captain of any club. I don't treat it lightly and I love being captain. I hope to stay."

GM Tim Bezbatchenko went out of his way when he arrived to say that Caldwell was the right man to lead the club forward, saying at the end of the 2013 season: "We need to create a winning culture here. Typically, that comes through leaders showing other people how to win. What I can say is Steven is our captain and he's proven that all last year. He's held the bar really high and shown what it takes to be the captain."

Caldwell enters the upcoming season in his final year of his contract and when pre-season began some thought the club would remain loyal to the Scot and have him skipper the side in his likely final year at BMO Field, but as Vanney begins his first year in charge of Toronto FC he has picked fellow American Bradley to be his on-field leader.

Caldwell led the team last week when they trained in Florida while Bradley was on international duty but was not notified of the change in direction until he returned home.

The reaction to this story is expected to be mixed. There are those who cover the club who don't feel it is a big deal.

TSN Soccer Analysts Jason DeVos and Kristian Jack disagree and discussed the issue recently in an edition of TSNFC.

"This whole thing matters. It matters to the players in the dressing room," said Jack. "There will be a portion of that team who will lead towards Bradley but there will be some who will look at Caldwell and say 'he did nothing wrong, he is our leader and you are taking the armband away from him?'. So already, before the season starts you could be creating a divide there. This has to be handled very carefully."

DeVos added: "They don't need to make Michael Bradley captain at this moment. He is here for another five years, he will be captain, and it's just a matter of when. I was very fortunate to captain club and country for a decade and I don't think I was any good at it until the last two years, well after my time as captain of Canada, because I didn't understand what the role meant. Caldwell knows exactly what that role means and he is really good at it. It's not just about what you do on the field, you have to be consistent, do your job and earn the respect of your teammates."

The former Canada skipper continued: "I know exactly how Caldwell will take the news because this happened to me once. He'll react like a pro and say you are making a mistake but it won't change me and I'll still do what I am going to do whether I am wearing an armband or not because I will keep those standards as a professional high."

"You have Bradley as a leader already," said Jack. He continued: "My concern is do the leaders of the team feel forced to give that to him as well? We know he has been consulted on the decisions this club have made, he already has a tremendous amount of power in there and would be captain in 2016 anyway and I just think it would have been wise to keep Caldwell and those who respect him in the dressing room on your side."

Toronto FC is expected to officially announce the change on Tuesday.