Sep 10, 2012, 11:25 AM EDT
The international break will be done by Tuesday; club matters will again be front and center.
For former U.S. international Brad Friedel, all troops reconvening after qualifiers and friendlies spells the proper launch of competition to hold his spot as top man in White Hart Lane goal.
Here, the wisdom of the years are paying off handsomely for Friedel, who is handling all this with pinpoint perfection.
Tottenham’s final stroke on transfer deadline day was singing France’s talented No. 1, Hugo Lloris. This was hardly optimal news to Friedel, 41, who was Tottenham’s unquestioned starter up to the second that news broke. (And holding the position wonderfully, it should be said.)
Friedel seems to have a great attitude about it all. Publicly, at least, he’s saying all the right things. What he told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday:
I’m 41 right now; when I signed the contract at Tottenham I signed as a stop-gap while they looked for a long-term No. 1 goalkeeper. Carlo Cudicini, who is an outstanding goalkeeper, has just turned 39; Heurelho Gomes, who is an outstanding goalkeeper as well is 31. Tottenham Hotspur deserve a long-term goalkeeper.”
That’s a man who understands his place, who gets it. Count him as the anit-Roger Clemens that way.
At 41, he knows his days as a top-flight pro are just about numbered. Friedel has enjoyed a brilliant career, prolonged, highly capable and reasonably well decorated. So why make a fuss? Why threaten to dent the dignity by which he has generally held his ground?
If Lloris does take over sooner rather than later – and that’s precisely what we’re talking about here, a matter of “when not if,” because Lloris will eventually displace the American – Friedel can stay around happily for the entire 2012-13 0season, providing top-notch cover, topper-notch tutelage and continue pulling respectable wages all along.
He’s smart not to create big ripples in the White Hart Lane pool. That would be an invitation for Tottenham officials to dump Friedel and his salary right out into the Thames, adjudging by January that things in North London will be better without him.
None of that means Friedel will concede the job without a fight. Here, too, Friedel is taking a wise, strategic approach. Again, from the Goals on Sunday show:
Hugo Lloris is going to come in and he’s going to be, I’m assuming, a very good goalkeeper. It’s a tricky situation to come into the Premier League because it does take some learning. …
“Hugo Lloris is France’s No 1 and he’s going to want to come in and play; it’s a friendly competition, if you like. You have to understand Hugo Lloris is going to be a team-mate, not an enemy. … The fact of the matter is, right now, we have four quality goalkeepers at the football club. Right now I believe the shirt is mine to lose. I believe the manager came out and said that.
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are always interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
May 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT
it was a big crowd pleaser on two fronts when the Whitecaps’ forward stroked an unstoppable free kick against Portland:
May 18, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT
The young Timbers’ attacker is having an outstanding season for the Jeld-Wen Field bunch:
May 18, 2013, 7:38 PM EDT
Higuain created the game’s only goal and was masterful in possession at BMO Field:
May 18, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT
An appearance next week in Paris Saint-Germain’s final match 2012-13 season doesn’t seem to be in the plans for the retiring superstar:
May 18, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT
Video: Reports out of England say today was the former England captain’s final match, rather than next week as expected:
May 18, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Depth at United will allow David Moyes to hut big game this offseason.
May 18, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT
David Beckham’s not dropping off your radar anytime soon.
May 18, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
Before Monaco takes on Europe, they have to convince French soccer.
May 18, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT
Manchester City’s former boss reaches out to his supportive fan base – his first public comments since his Monday dismissal.
May 18, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT
Mercifully, the season’s come to an end for the 17 clubs who tried to keep pace with Bayern Munich.
May 18, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT
Manchester United’s outgoing boss was amazed but not surprised at his rival’s dismissal.
May 18, 2013, 10:22 AM EDT
Relegation’s decided. So’s the title and two of the league’s Europa League spots. All that’s left? The battle for top four.
May 18, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
Russian oligarchs, third-party ownership, tax havens, and €60 million moves. This one has everything.
May 18, 2013, 8:11 AM EDT
One of the Premier League’s one-club men says goodbye at Anfield.
May 17, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT
Wait a doggone minute! Didn’t Philadelphia and Chicago just play?
May 17, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT
Brest and FC Lorient will be the opposition for retiring midfielder’s final two pro matches:
May 17, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT
Something we should fold into the ongoing Landon Donovan-U.S. national team debate:
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