New York Red Bulls Practice Session With Tottenham Hotspur

The winter of Brad Friedel


Brad Friedel, 41-year-old netminder Brad Friedel, is not the starter at Tottenham anymore. He’s given way to 25-year-old Frenchman Hugo Lloris in a move that has United States supporters up in a tizzy, but is probably the right thing long term for everyone involved. Friedel, doesn’t seem to care.

“I don’t go in and bang down doors anymore and say, You have to play me,” he tells Fox Soccer. “At my age that’s not how it works. The older you get, your ego goes down a little bit. You can see the big picture a lot more clearly.” Gosh, that’s great. Also, I suspect, a little bit a product of the situation and the new reality, but whatever. I love that Friedel’s all “yeah, I’ve had an awesome career and I know it and whatever happens now is cake. Oh cake! I’d like to eat some of that now. And I can because I’m a back up.”

You know what Friedel does want to do? Get his coaching licenses, which is exactly what he’s doing at Tottenham and one of the major reasons he resigned with the club instead of moving to Blackburn Rovers where he would have been insured of a starting place. He feels that he can learn more at Spurs, spelling Lloris when necessary and getting those badges. That’s a good attitude.

You know what else that shows? That we, the punditry, have so little idea about what’s actually going on during the transfer period. Players have motivation beyond simply getting on the field. Did you, the people, read a story about Friedel’s desire to stay at Tottenham for the sake of coaching when he was looking to re-up or move on? Of course not. He didn’t let that slip. Be wary of journalists, or anyone for that matter, saying they know the whole story behind a player’s motivation to make — or not make — a move. They don’t.

How will USMNT line up vs. Mexico in CONCACAF Cup?

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You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.

With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.

Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.

JPW’s choice

—– Guzan —–

— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —

Jones —– Bradley

— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Mix-and-match XI

—– Howard —–

— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Williams —–

— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —

— Altidore — Zardes —

Stopping Mexico

—– Howard —–

— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Cameron —–

— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —

— Altidore —


I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.

The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.

“Legends World Cup” hope to bring Beckham, Zidane to Mexico

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David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane coaxed out of retirement to play in a “Legends World Cup” you say?

Well, that got my attention.

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According to an interview with the BBC’s world service, the organizers of the 2017 Legends World Cup are hoping to entice both Becks and Zizou to roll back the years and represent their nations in Mexico.

Beckham, 40, and Zidane, 43, are already putting their boots back on to captain a Great Britain and Ireland XI vs. a World XI for a friendly at Old Trafford on November 14 to raise money for UNICEF, and former Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos, 48, has urged the duo to take part in the tournament in 2017 where he will coach Mexico’s team.

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From the BBC:

“I want to see Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazilian Ronaldo,” said Campos, 48, the flamboyant ex-Mexico goalkeeper who will coach his country.

“Everybody wants to see Argentina’s Diego Maradona, but he can’t play. He’s too old.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2017, with 12 teams in total — four from the Americas, six from Europe and one each from Africa and Asia — taking part.

Given the age (players must be aged between 35-45) and caliber of the players Campos and Co. are trying to recruit, let’s have a think about who would play for the U.S.

Landon Donovan and Brian McBride up front? Brad Friedel in goal? Let us know who would make the squad.