The New England Revolution have announced that former USMNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel will be the club’s next head coach. Friedel is- sorry Timmay!- the most successful goalkeeper this country has produced, he played almost 600 matches in the Premier League (for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, and Spurs) and played 82 times with the national team, though his coaching career is limited to some time with the Spurs youth sides and two years with the USMNT’s U19 side. I think Friedel is a perfectly cromulent choice to lead the club, but whether he’s the right choice or not will probably have more to do with the organization’s willingness (or lack thereof) to spend money and it’s ability to spend that money wisely- something they have rarely done in the club’s history. So, give the man two more outstanding defensive players and see what he can do.
In the wake of Gordon Strachan’s departure, caretaker Scottish National Team manager Malky Mackay has chosen a to call in eight uncapped players for today’s friendly against the Netherlands (which I am watching as I type this). Understandable, essentially meaningless match, give the vets a break and see what the new players might be able to contribute. Then up pops current Kilmarnock and former Scotland striker Kris Boyd with his, “hot take,” calling Mackay’s squad a, “laughing stock for international football.” Boyd is entitled to his opinion, he played 18 times for Scotland, scoring 7 times. That said, settle down, mun, your “crowning moment” as a national team player was winning the Kirin Cup in 2006, a three team tournament in which Scotland came out on top by beating Bulgaria and drawing with Japan.
Speaking of hot takes, player-turned-pundit Alexi Lalas always has a boxful of them and I find myself in agreement with his most recent one. Lalas’ view is that for at least the first few friendly matches the USMNT should be made up of entirely uncapped players, i.e., anyone involved in not qualifying for the World Cup should have to earn their way back into the side on merit. If find this an extreme view, but also one that’s hard to argue against.
Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle met for a charity friendly in Dingwall last night and everyone came out winners, County, the charity, and, well, I guess Caley didn’t, but that’s okay.
I was going to turn this bullet point into a post of its own, but because I like you all I’m just going to make it a “Fun Fact” and you can look more deeply into it if you find it interesting. Did you know that all of the football clubs that have “Spartak” as part of their name are named after the Thracian slave-cum-gladiator Spartacus? I, as a European historian, should have, since his name pops up all over Europe during the socialist uprisings of the immediate post-WWI era, but somehow I didn’t connect that with the football clubs of the region that took his name. The more you know…