By FRANCO PANIZO
The Columbus Crew’s search for a new head coach could end with them landing a very familiar face.
According to a report from SI.com, Columbus interviewed former Crew and current Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel about their head coaching position during last month’s international window. Friedel traveled to Columbus to talk about the job with Crew officials, but no decision was made at that moment.
If the club ultimately decides it wants to sign Friedel, it reportedly will have to buy him out of the last few months of his contract with Spurs in order to have him available for the start of next season’s training camp. The 42-year-old Friedel, who is from Ohio, currently has a UEFA B coaching license and is reportedly working on acquiring his A license.
The Crew are currently led by interim coach Brian Bliss.
Here are more notes from around the Eastern Conference:
The Impact look to receive a major boost ahead of their crucial Eastern Conference showdown with the New England Revolution. Designated Player Hernan Bernardello has declared himself fully fit after spending the past several weeks with an ankle injury, which means he could play in Montreal’s pivotal home game against the Revolution on Saturday.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls’ next game will not be until Oct. 20 and that still might not be enough time for Bradley Wright-Phillips to make his return. Wright-Phillips is currently dealing with a hamstring strain picked up a couple weeks ago against FC Dallas, but not even the extra days of rest that New York has thanks to the bye week will assure that the English forward will be ready for next weekend’s visit to Houston.
“Nothing is impossible, but the way I’m taking it is: Until they give me that glimmer of hope, I’m counting on him to still be recovering,” said Red Bulls head coach Petke. “There’s always a chance, I assume. He looks good walking around, he’s going to treatment nonstop, our medical staff is very good. They can potentially have him back, but as of now I don’t have that answer yet.”
The Red Bulls might not see the return of one of their complimentary offensive weapons by Oct. 20, but the Dynamo have. Andrew Driver has recovered from his right calf problem and just in time to help Houston in its push for a playoff spot in the tight East. The winger had been sidelined since Sept. 4.
The 2013 U.S. Open Cup champions will be without two regulars for the remainder of the season. Dejan Jakovic and John Thorrington have been ruled out of for United’s final three games of the year with injuries. Jakovic is recovering from a strained adductor while Thorrington has a calf problem.
Another Toronto FC member has received an international call-up from Canada. The Canadian Under-18 roster for a camp in Guatemala was announced earlier this week and on it was TFC midfielder Manny Aparicio. The 18-year-old signed with Toronto as a HomeGrown player earlier this year but has yet to make his professional debut.
Brian Carroll never thought about appearing in as many as 300 games when he started his career, but that is exactly what he is about to accomplish. Carroll is on the brink of playing in his 300th game in MLS and will achieve that impressive feat if he starts in his usual starting role on Saturday against his former club, D.C. United.
“It wasn’t a goal of mine,” Carroll told PhiladelphiaUnion.com. “I think it just comes along with trying to be a good pro and it’s definitely a cool accomplishment if I’ll be able to do it on that game. I think it’s just a testament to being around good clubs and definitely, I’ll look back at the memories that have taken place through that stretch of games. It’s just something I’ll look back on and appreciate more down the line.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Matt Besler could not be any more excited about what is in store for him later this week. Besler is set to start the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on Friday, marking the first time he will don his international colors in front of his hometown crowd of Sporting Park in Kansas City.
“It’s something that’s going to be special,” Besler, an Overland Park, KS. native, told MLSsoccer.com. “You hate looking forward to games before they happen, but this is a game that I’ve had on my mind for a very long time, and once it came out I was just looking forward to hopefully getting a chance to play.”
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Juan Agudelo is a mere months away from starting the next chapter in his career in England, but he wants to leave MLS on a high note before he does that. Set to join Stoke City on a free transfer in January, Agudelo is currently trying to help the Revolution reach the postseason. It is a goal he wants to achieve not only for his club, but also for himself as well as he prepares to embark on a new journey.
It won’t be an easy task to help New England reach the playoffs, but Agudelo is embracing the challenge not steering clear of it.
“I love that pressure, that kind of anxiety you have because it’s an either win or go home type of deal,” Agudelo told Goal.com. “Ideally, anybody would want to end in any league that they play in on a good note. It’s definitely going to be in the back of my mind.”
Sean Johnson just continues to be showered with praise. Johnson received more kind words from media, fans and his teammates following the Chicago Fire’s 3-0 victory over D.C. United last week, a game in which Johnson showed very well by making eight saves.
“I think that’s clearly the best game he’s played in his short career,” Fire attacker Patrick Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com. “It was incredible. Incredible is an understatement in how he performed that day … His maturity has been unbelievable, and he understands when to calm the game for us, when to speed up the game for us. His leadership is very visible. We see how he commands the defenders, and it just transcends through everyone.”