World Cup off-day wrapup: Sunday

World Cup off-day wrapup: Sunday

By Adam Vaccaro

What happened Sunday: American World Cup hero Landon Donovan prepared to return to MLS action, as his Los Angeles Galaxy was set to host Seattle Sounders FC at the Home Depot Center for a 10:30 p.m. match. Teammate Edson Buddle, who also represented the US in South Africa, will join Donovan in receiving what should be quite a hero's welcome on this Independence Day. The only MLS team to send two players to the World Cup, the Galaxy (10-1-3) are the clear class of the league in 2010. Donovan, who earlier this week downplayed speculation that he'd bolt to Europe after this season, leads America's top domestic league with nine assists. Buddle's nine goals also front the pack, and the squad is coached by former U.S. manager Bruce Arena.

The other two MLS-based U.S. players Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein and Real Salt Lake striker Robbie Findley already returned to action this weekend and were each warmly welcomed home by American fans. Findley scored the last of Real Salt Lake's goals in the reigning MLS Cup champions' 5-0 drubbing of the Revolution on Friday night.

The Nigeria Football Federation has fired its president and vice president in hopes of getting the nation's president, Goodluck Johnson, to reconsider his two-year ban on the Super Eagles from international competition. Johnson is under pressure from FIFA to reconsider, having been told that he has until Monday to rescind the ban before the country faces disciplinary measures. The organization strongly prohibits government involvement in all soccer matters.

Some good news for the Netherlands: striker Robin Van Persie and defender Joris Mathijson should both be fit to play in the semifinals against Uruguay. Van Persie injured his shoulder during the team's upset victory over Brazil while Mathijson was scratched just before game time after hurting his knee during pregame warm-ups. The center back's absence particularly showed as the Dutch defense struggled to come together in the match's early going. But the defensive breakdown that led to Robinho's first half goal and gave Selecao a 1-0 lead is a distant memory for Dutch supporters, who celebrated heavily following the Oranje's second half comeback en route to the stunning 2-1 win.

Spanish coach Vincente Del Bosque suggested that striker Fernando Torres may be benched against Germany on Wednesday. Torres has not scored in the tournament and has had very little field presence. Del Bosque spoke highly of Liverpool's star scorer but said that he is not certain to start against a German side that he believes to be the best still standing in the tournament.

Argentina will return home to very disappointed supporters after its quarterfinal loss to Germany. And by disappointed, I mean potentially threateningly disappointed. Police are taking every precaution to guard for the players safety and will bar fans from the airport at which the team is scheduled to arrive.
Question of the Day: Are you one of nearly 790 thousand to have signed the U.S. Soccer Federation's Go USA Bid petition? In May, the Federation officially submitted its bid for the United States to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022 and aims to collect 1 million signatures to show off by selection time in December. Just imagine a potential Fourth of July weekend with the U.S. still alive late in the tournament on home soil. Maybe that weekend's quarter or semifinal match would even be held at Gillette Stadium. If you're into that (and I bet you are), make sure to head to and add your signature to the already very long list.
Quote of Note: "Pepe Reina had told me Cardozo sent his penalty against him to the left and hard. His advice paid off." - Spanish keeper Iker Casillas, explaining how Reina, his backup who had faced penalty shots from Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo in club play, assisted him in saving Cardozo's penalty bid on Saturday.

Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach


Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach

New Revolution coach Brad Friedel was introduced to the media at Gillette Stadium on Monday and promised his "obsession with winning" will filter down to the rest of the organization.

“We have a lot of work ahead but we do have a lot of good players here, a lot of good pieces to this club,” Friedel said.  “One thing we can guarantee you — because you never want to guarantee too much in sport — is that you will get 100 percent commitment from myself and staff, as well as the players.

“And we’re going to be, hopefully, get to the obsession that I have with winning. And we’ll work our best to try and get those wins on the board that we can.”

Since retiring as a player, Friedel, a former UMNT goalkeeper who spent most of his career in Europe and the Premier League, has coached the US U-19 team and worked as a soccer analyst for FOX Sports. He's the eighth coach in the MLS franchise's 22-year history. He replaces Jay Heaps, the Revs' second-longest serving coach who led New England to playoff appearances from 2013-15, including an MLS Cup Final appearance in 2014. 

Friedel said it won't be difficult to adjust to coaching in the MLS after a long career in Europe. 

“That won't be hard to adjust to at all," Freidel said. "Not every team over in Europe or England, for that matter, has these enormous budgets. Working at clubs like Blackburn as a player, but then at Tottenham, I know it's a big club, but they work under a strict budget at Tottenham. You learn to work under whatever restrictions or not there may or may not be... 

"Whatever budget is given to us, we will work with. I think what's really important is the mentality of the players. Fans and players are usually the two most important things at every single club. Us as a staff, we're employed to try to make those players better. So, whatever players are in front of us, that's going to be our focus – on getting a team environment, a winning environment, and an environment where every player wants to work hard. It doesn't really matter where your budgets are.”

Friedel said he likes the potential on the Revs roster. 

"I think there's a lot of potential within the group. We're not going to go into details at the first press conference obviously with the squad itself. We have a lot of meetings ahead with that, but there's a lot of potential in the group... 

"This is not a team that is in disarray, that's for sure. I think there needs to be little tweaks to it, and then my staff and I need to go in and try to mold the team and get the confidence back. I think if you see – you can look at stats, stats don't lie – over 60 goals conceded is too much and that's something we'll need to address. But, we know what we need to address and we'll work hard to address those issues."

Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach


Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach

The New England Revolution have hired Brad Friedel as their new head coach, according to Ives Galarcep of

Friedel, 46, played goalkeeper for the Columbus Crew in 1996 and 1997 before spending 18 years in the Premier League and was the starting keeper for the United States National Team in the 2002 World Cup. He has spent the last two years coaching the United States Under-19 National Team.

The Revs fired head coach Jay Heaps and September and Tom Soehn filled in as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.