Mid-Day Ticker: Friedel close to Villa extension, Iran hires Queiroz and more

FRIEDEL (GETTY) 

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Brad Friedel may be pushing 40 by the time the season runs out, but the veteran goalkeeper looks likely to extend his stay at Aston Villa.

Friedel’s agent, Tony McGill, said that he has been in contact with the Birmingham-based club and talks are going very well.

“We are in talks now over a new contract,” McGill said. “Brad is very happy at Villa. If Brad was not happy he would not be talking over a new contract.”

Friedel has publicly backed embattled manager Gerard Houllier and has dismissed media reports that there is a player mutiny at Villa. The former American International has played 31 Premier League matches this season and kept five clean sheets.

Here are some more stories to help you through your Monday:

QUEIROZ NAMED IRAN MANAGER

Iran has hired former Portugal and NY/NJ MetroStars manager Carlos Queiroz to take the reins of its national side. Quieroz inked a three-year contract that lasts through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, should Iran qualify.

Quieroz, who has also coached Real Madrid, will also take control of Iran’s youth sides. Iran fired coach Afshin Qotbi in January.

BIN HAMMAM CONFIRMED AS BLATTER'S ONLY CHALLEGNER

Qatari candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam will be the only challenger for the FIFA presidency against incumbent Sepp Blatter, FIFA confirmed today.

Bin Hammam was the only challenger nominated, as Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl failed to procure support from a national football association and Chilean legend Elias Figueroa withdrew his name from consideration after his own FA didn't nominate him.

Blatter will be campaigning for a fourth term as president, a post he has held since 1998. Blatter has promised that, if elected, it will his final term. There were no challengers to his reign in 2007. The 2011 vote will be held on June 1 in Zurich.

ROONEY BANNED TWO MATCHES

The English FA has banned Wayne Rooney for two matches after he shouted obscenities into a camera during a goal celebration in United’s 4-2 over West Ham on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Rooney apologized for the incident, but the FA launched an investigation on Sunday. Rooney scored a hat trick in Saturday’s victory, and his outburst comes on the heels of an FA initiative that demands more respect and professional behavior from players and managers.

Rooney is expected to appeal the charge, but should it stick, he would miss a league match against Fulham and a crucial FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City.

INTER’S MILITO TO START AGAINST SCHALKE

Inter Milan’s hopes to advance to the semifinals of the Champions League were given a boost today with the news that striker Diego Milito will be fit to face Schalke on Tuesday. The Argentine striker was integral in Inter’s championship run last season, scoring twice in the final against Bayern Munich. Milito has been out since early February with a thigh injury.

LEHMANN SUING FELLOW GOALKEEPER

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has filed a lawsuit against Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese for suggesting the 41-year-old “belonged on the 'Muppet Show.'”

Lehmann, who recently came out of retirement to help solve Arsenal’s goalkeeping crisis, is suing Wiese for $28,480 for having his “personal rights violated.” The feud between the two keepers began when Lehmann criticized Wiese while working as a television pundit in September.

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Excited to see Friedel possibly extend his tenure at Villa, or do you wish he would come to MLS? What do you think his extension means for Brad Guzan? Disappointed that neither Wahl nor anybody else was nominated for the FIFA election? How do you Queiroz faring in Iran? Think Rooney deserves a two-game ban? Can you see Schalke shocking Inter?

Share your thoughts below.

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41 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Friedel close to Villa extension, Iran hires Queiroz and more

  1. Mike says:

    I wonder if it is to be the first choice keeper. He is still good, but his skills seem to have declined a bit this year. Still good shot blocker but doesn’t command the area like he use to. Good for Brad, though.

  2. ec says:

    Guzan needs to look at a different situation, he needs games in a top league. Hope he gets a shot, I think he’s shown he deserves it.

  3. fischy says:

    Not surprising that VIlla still wants Friedel and, given his financial problems, not surprising that the’s decided to stay in England. All said — bully for Brad.

    As for that lunatic ‘keeper now back in North London, I hope that the German legal system has provisions for sanctions for malicious prosecution and abuse of the legal system. I’d say he should grow a pair, but he already flashed ‘em to an international TV audience.

  4. Hokie_Futbol says:

    Wayne Rooney is the man. I know that you guys will get on me for this, but how can you not love his intensity? Granted all the off the field stuff is disconcerting and he’s kind of a d***, but he is such a complete player and gives everything to the game. Commence backlash

  5. Justin O says:

    “Iran fired coach Afshin Qotbi in January.”

    Surely it was worth a mention thst Qotbi is an American and a former LA Galaxy assistant.

    Then again, the remarkable story of the American coaching, first one of the top club teams in Iran, and then the national team, seems to have been completely missed by the US soccer media, despite an internationally aired segment on BBC World.

  6. HoboMike says:

    No need. You managed to take words out of everyone’s mouth before we started.

    Kind of like Eminem at the end of 8 Mile.

  7. I JIK I RED BULLZ says:

    Hey guys just heard the Japan pulls out of Copa America 2011. USA should be ask if they’re interested to join the tournament. USMNT wouldn’t have to bring their experience players just our young inexperience players who can involve into stars in the future such as:

    Juan Agudelo

    Teal Bunbury

    Mikel Diskerud

    Tim Ream

    Omar Gonzalez

    Timothy Chandler

    Eric Lihaj

    Sean Johnson

    What do you guys think about us joinging Copa America tournment?

  8. John says:

    How pathetic is Blatter that his best campaign pitch is the promise that it will be his last.

  9. Paul C says:

    + 1

  10. patrick says:

    anything but a complete player

  11. HoboMike says:

    I think it would be pretty awesome, but I’m pretty sure there is an unwritten rule about not inviting the US again for some time. I think everyone was pretty offended when our C team showed up, rightly or wrongly.

  12. Paul C says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call him ‘the man’…but his performance on Saturday was pretty brilliant.

    I think it’s complete garbage that their banning him for two matches. If you don’t want to see/hear a players reactions after netting a hat-trick to give Manchester United a lead, on the road, on the tail end of one of the tightest title races we’ve seen in years….don’t put cameras and microphones in his face. /run on diatribe.

  13. Frank says:

    I heard that Spain was just invited

  14. Paul C says:

    Before the grammar police come…they’re*

  15. Mito says:

    Not ganna happen, those old farts from Conmebol are still angry at the US for sending a bunch of scrubs to the last Copa America. The Conmebol spokesman has already stated that they are considering Canada or Costa Rica.

  16. Paul C says:

    Costa Rica.

  17. Hokie_Futbol says:

    How is he not a complete player? He can score with his head and both feet. He’s decent goin 1v1. He is a good distributor of the ball and sometimes even moves back to disrupt attacks/pick up the ball in the defensive 3rd. I’ll admit that he had a bad year last year and has been inconsistent this year, but when he’s on, he’s one of the best in the world.

  18. I JIK I RED BULLZ says:

    Yeah I heard Canada and Costa Rica too but no ofense to Canada but they’ll just embrasse themselves. I think USMNT can win against Colombia and Bolivia if we’re sending players like Agudelo and Bunbury but too bad it won’t happen.

  19. inkedAG says:

    I would say that it is the team of Arsenal that are playing like Muppets.

  20. Judging Amy says:

    hahaha +1

  21. Jason B says:

    Anybody think that this “Drogba to MLS” story is legit? I just don’t see it happening.

  22. Erik says:

    Wish someone other than Hammam was challenging Blatter. Coming from the oil rich nations of the world, I bet he’s just as corrupt… I see there is just loads of choice when it comes to FIFA.

  23. A says:

    I just learned that Bradley played in Aston Villa’s reserve match.

    Ouch.

  24. Erik says:

    He played tow full internationals with 2 trans Atlantic flights mixed in.

    I said he wouldn’t even make the bench for the weekends game, so why not play in the reserves?

    It was a bad move for him like as string of bad moves for US players.

  25. Josh D says:

    Villa are cheap, they can’t buy anyone better.

  26. Josh D says:

    “Anything but a complete player”?

    He’d be the one player that could take us to the next level for the US team. We’re dying for that hard striker capable of dragging the team to a win when not playing well, chasing every ball, creating chances as well as scoring.

    I’d take him for our national team over Messi – we don’t have the team to put away Messi’s opportunities nor the team to get him the ball to do damage. We need hard workers.

  27. Josh D says:

    Didn’t know that, utter respect and interesting. Thanks for pointing out something that should be it’s own article on this site!

  28. Josh D says:

    Won’t happen and you’re sending a B/C team again which would only piss them off again… Bradley screwed us over on that one and in the process lost us a lot of respect in our Southern region…. Would be a great way to actually test ourselves in a region full of power players instead of cruising to the the semis in our region this summer, friendlies against teams that aren’t getting into 5th gear and then wondering why we don’t stack up in the WC when teams start really competing.

  29. A says:

    I’m not understanding your point.

    Dempsey and Jones both stepped right back into their squads. Now if you are saying that Bradley had little chance of making the squad in the first place and this was just a terrible decision to call him in then yes I agree.

  30. Josh D says:

    He’ll go back to France, he was quoted as such in January. He also said he would like to retire at Chelsea.

    For all of his diving, he has never come across as anything but a nice guy off the pitch. Gives away plenty to Africa and never seems to play for the money.

  31. A says:

    Actually, that’s a fascinating argument I haven’t considered yet.

    Bob Bradley is always leaving players off the national team rosters for friendlies if their club situations are risky and they are trying to fight for a spot.

    Well that situation doesn’t apply any better than with Michael Bradley. In fact, I would say that leaving the squad for the USMNT probably destroyed any chance of ever playing for Villa.

    So why does Bradley get exempt from that when other players do not? Makes you wonder considering the serious negative consequences that it could have on MB’s career. It’s like Bob thinks the US cannot possibly play without his son.

  32. Josh D says:

    Called it from the beginning – Villa was a horrible choice for him. Stacked with central midfielders, try to play a counter/technical style, and very dynamic when they get into the flow.

    Bradley has always relied on his engine and sideways passing – in the Premier you must look for the forward pass.

    You could see from his US performance – although some claim Jones and Edu played terribly, Bradley on passed the ball forward a small handful of times. Otherwise it was a sideways or if we’re lucky, backwards pass.

    Jones-Holden should be our starting two when both are fit and Edu is a much tidier, keep tight player than Bradley.

  33. A says:

    I never quite understood why he landed their in the first place. But he seems that he simply lacks the ability to play at the EPL pace, in a style of play that emphasizes more than just running ragged around the midfield trying to win balls.

    He’s got a motor on him, no doubt, but the vision and distribution is just not there.

  34. AdamFromMich says:

    Ha! Since CONMEBOL is still angry with the US for sending a bunch of scrubs last time, why are they considering Canada? Didn’t Argentina just whip the Canadian A team a few months back?

    You would think CONMEBOL would avoid inviting CONCACAF teams so close to the Gold Cup. I know they always invite Mexico, but that has become a tradition. Plus, I believe they receive some TV revenue from the Mexican market. I’m not sure any other CONCACAF team offers the same advantages.

  35. Adam says:

    Friedel filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. He’s playing as long as he can to earn some money back now.

  36. Mike says:

    And yet another thread gets hijacked by a Michael Bradley debate.

  37. A says:

    How is this getting “hijacked.”

    It is a piece of news that Bradley played in a reserve game.

  38. Mike says:

    There have been rumors of Shay Given…but I don’t really see that as an upgrade.

  39. GW says:

    “Won’t happen and you’re sending a B/C team again which would only piss them off again… Bradley screwed us over on that one and in the process lost us a lot of respect in our Southern region….”

    What respect? Like our “A” team was going to tear up that Tournament? Get real.

    Copa America invites guest teams they think will help draw crowds, hence Japan ( large ethnic Japanese populations in South America). If they never invite the US again it’s because they found better drawing teams. The US can’t even draw its own fans in the US.

    Bradley probably had little to do with the schedule and it was clear the Confed Cup of 2009 was to be a priority.

    Other teams have often sent B/C teams and the US has often declined invitations largely because the Copa is a scheduling nightmare given where and when most of ths USMNT plays.

    Besides, winning the Copa America would not allow the US entry into the Confederations Cup. They would be replaced by a CONMEBOL team. And it seems clear the US has decided the Confed CUp 2013 and it’s World Cup dress rehearsal aspect are the #1 priority.

  40. Brian says:

    Did you watch the Argentina and Paraguay games? Bradley seems as if he’s never sat on a bench.

  41. Ronnie t says:

    If our A team played in the Copa America i could see us finishing in the top 3 behind brazil and argentina quite frankly…..i mean non of the other teams in south america pose any real problems to us…..i find it amazing how people still don’t think we have any legit chances against top competition after our performances in the last 2 top competitions we’ve played in….i mean we made a final in one and should’ve won really, and won our group in the world cup where we tied England and got robbed against Slovenia! None of the teams from conmebol besides brazil and argentina could i see beating us!