While my somewhat gritty reputation does precede me, this post is not about birth control. Maybe next time, dear Yanks readers. I do, however, offer a PBR-fueled apology if this presents disappointment.
Recently, TYAC senior staff writer Jon Levy wrote a thought-provoking piece about the many reactionaries calling for Brad Friedel to join the USMNT roster. Simply put, Levy’s stance is that Tim Howard is and should continue to be the USMNT minder of the net without reservation or concern. Hell, I could not agree more. Tim Howard is our guy. Anyone who says otherwise is either a misinformed jackleg, simply has no actual knowledge of the game, or wants an angry-Chuck-Liddell-in-his-prime beating from me. While Levy’s post was well-constructed, there is one angle that he failed to examine. What happens if Timmy gets hurt? First of all, let me offer a bit of disclosure: I am a huge Howard fan. From time to time I dream of Timmy anchoring the defense of Blankcheckster City instead of Shay Given. If a Madden-esque curse should somehow stricken Howard in the wake of this post, it will most likely result in a PBR and whiskey binge – quickly followed by the rest of TYAC staff urinating on my passed out naked (and dare I say, hairy) body. I concede this question is something we’d hate to have to answer, but it’s always better to prepare for the worst. That is why I think Plan B-rad Friedel should join the USMNT for this summer’s trip to South Africa. Friedel, (hereby referred to as Plan B) should hop on the plane with the understanding that he will function as a more than capable backup. My reasoning is obvious; there’s simply no downside to this move. So we replace a goalkeeper that was not going to see any time on the pitch (i.e. Perkins) with a seasoned veteran that in the direst of circumstances would be more reliable than a World Cup rookie. Seems like a no brainer to me. Plan B has given no indication that his ego would get in the way of him returning to the USMNT strictly in a backup capacity, so why not make the call? What’s the worst that can happen; we end up hurting Guzan’s ego? With all due respect to Guzan, who gives a shit? Plan B is better than Guzan. You know it, he knows it, and everyone knows it. That is why he sits on the bench and watches Friedel’s excellent performances from the sidelines at Aston Villa. I suggest Guzan learns as much as he can from Plan B while he is still on Villa. This is the point where a fair share of people want to say, “But Puck, Plan B is retired from international play, and anyone who comes back would want to be a starter.” Two points, first this retirement idea is horseshit. If you still play soccer in arguably the most competitive league in the world, you are not retired. Forget just playing, he is having one of the best years of
his EPL career. As long as he continues to play soccer to pay the bills, he is not retired. As to the “he wants to be a starter” jacklegs, we simply do not know that. Plan B has given no evidence that his ego is
larger than Rex Ryan (Not Sexy Rexy’s ego, his actual size). Why would we assume such things? There are plenty of examples of players coming back from international retirement to play for their country in many sports. Hell, all signs point to Ruud Van Nistelrooy, a former Dutch National Team player with tremendous goal scoring ability, rejoining his former mates as a bench player for the upcoming World Cup. Finally, some people would have concerns that Plan B would not have time to gel with our defense. My response is simple; we don’t really need him to. It’s just like a backup QB. The starter gets nearly all the snaps in practice and the backup is there just
in case. Also, replacing a goalie is not as difficult as replacing a midfielder. Inside the 18 yards box, the keeper is the big swinging dick no matter who it is. That’s what they teach players when
they first start playing the game. In short, bringing Plan B is just a smart idea. For anyone who plays poker, its great pot odds. We give up very little to possibly win a ton a money. Bobbo, please make the call, we have nothing to lose. You always need to plan ahead with an insurance policy. If Tim picks up a knock, or takes a shitty red card, wouldn’t you feel a lot better knowing you had Plan B in your medicine cabinet? Because that’s what Plan B is, insurance, for those “just in case” moments… Puck is the token pop culture guru and occasional serious columnist for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.