June 10, 2003

Howard to ManU, but why?: Apparently Manchester are negotiating with MLS for the rights to GK Tim Howard, no news there. However, US coach Bruce Arena has commented on the possibility by saying that if he does not get on the field with the first team it will stunt his growth and probably prevent him from having a shot at the US starting spot for the 2006 World Cup. If so, and ManU hasn't given him some indication of their plans, why would Howard go?

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 07:39 PM - 17 comments

Howard would go while saying goodbye to his wife from the driveway...just like I would.

posted by StarFucker at 10:59 PM on June 10, 2003

Erm, what SF said, for so many reasons: Money! What a nice resume item! Barthez is probably on his last legs, and Howard will have more playing time. With Man U in the Champions League, they'll want to be able to rotate keepers and have the big boys play the big games. Howard will get his break in the Cup games, and probably playing understudy to Carroll. And if Barthez starts doing nutty stuff, or gets hurt, it's only Carroll and Howard. Howard has nothing to lose. Let's see, first-team MLS or first-team (even tho it's third string) EPL champions, Champions League contender, and domestic Cup games? Hmmm.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:13 PM on June 10, 2003

Regardless, Friedel should be around for 2006 anyways. Nobody else will be considered until 2010 (how wierd does that date look?) in which case there are plenty of GKs lined up DJ Countess, et al.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:17 AM on June 11, 2003

DJ Countess! Wow, does he spin the mad tunes like Dj Bukem? DJ Countess, yeah! Wow wow wow wow wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka boom boom boom boom wakka wakka wakka wakka! Or maybe not.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:24 AM on June 11, 2003

They'll take him, but I doubt he'll get much play. He'll go just in case he does. It's an old story. If he does ok there for a few years, he might score a first team place elsewhere in the Prem, but I haven't seen enough of him to judge whether he can get first team play with Utd. Ferguson is a fairly canny player in the transfer market though, and he'll have seen some promise there. I think Bruce Arena may be wide of the mark, in that he can't possibly get the training facilities and backroom support he'll get at Old Trafford with any MLS team, let alone the quality of players he'll be training with.

posted by walrus at 04:20 AM on June 11, 2003

He won't get much play? I believe that's what they said about Keller going to Tottenham. Maybe, just maybe, he'll play his way into the starting job. He's a heckuva keeper and Barthez is a nut job, so it's not as crazy as it sounds.

posted by trox at 09:46 AM on June 11, 2003

Fair enough trox. As I said, I don't know enough about MLS or Howard in particular to judge. If he was world class I'd hope I'd have heard of him, but I don't hear everything. If he's as good as someone like Friedel, he'll get in past Barthez. If he's only as good as Carroll then he's pure backup.

posted by walrus at 10:04 AM on June 11, 2003

wc2k2, its LTJ Bukem. (small manifestation of a recurring jack ass problem I seem to have.)

posted by garfield at 10:27 AM on June 11, 2003

The only thing I'd add to what I've already said above is that it's a bloody thankless job being a goalie. Chances are few and fuckups are potentially career-ending. Whereas a striker can fluff nine shots and still become a hero on the tenth ... So, I fully expect United to stick with the devils they know unless they're importing proven class, and I doubt Howard is even expecting a great deal of first team play. But I still think Arena is wide of the mark, even if he doesn't get a game for them in the next two years. What he's really whinging about is that it makes his selection task that bit harder, if you want my opinion.

posted by walrus at 10:28 AM on June 11, 2003

You're prob. right, walrus. Arena can say whatever he wants. He's just pissed his top choices are all playing overseas, and have more match options to choose from than just the MLS (i.e., they have more reasons to not to play for the US).

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:42 AM on June 11, 2003

Well, that sounds like a double-edged sword. From another viewpoint, the success of the US team depends on your guys sucking up all that experience from foreign leagues until the sport gets a lot bigger over there.

posted by walrus at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2003

Great point walrus--I only wish it were some of the other field players heading abroad to play for such a quality team. I don't think anyone would dispute our ability to produce quality keepers.

posted by trox at 02:22 PM on June 11, 2003

Nicely said, trox. Freddy Adu will be the first to go. I wonder why DaMarcus or Landon haven't? Is it just them being loyal to the MLS?

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:29 PM on June 11, 2003

Landon's rights are actually owned by a German side, Bayern Leverkusen I think, and he was over there a couple of years ago but only sat on the bench, couldn't crack the starting 11. So MLS made a loan deal and assigned him to SJ (woot!). After the World Cup, there was much talk of him going back to Germany but somehow a deal was made to keep him in the US for another season or two. Even so, at this point Landon would play Euro ball in Deutscheland, not EPL. I think some mid-table EPL squad could surely benefit from the speed and creativity DMB is showing out on the wings.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:06 PM on June 11, 2003

Exactly. I know about the Landon D - Bayer Leverkusen deal, but I can't for the life of me figure out why some EPL team wouldn't just deal with Bayer L (and SJ) for him. I mean, I'm sure Bayer can pull him back whenever they want. And what about DaMarcus? I mean, what was so great about their "deals" that would keep them here? Did they get some "founders shares" (like the 1999 US women's team did when they started the US Women's soccer League) or some other profit-sharing sweet deal that keeps them here? I mean, why aren't their agents scouting out deals in Europe? (No disrespect to the MLS, but I think these guys are being held back by staying here much longer.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:27 AM on June 13, 2003

I don't know enough about these players to comment!

posted by walrus at 09:36 AM on June 13, 2003

Can't speak about DMB but Donovan sincerely seems to want to help push MLS into the mainstream of American pro sports. And after last year's arrangements, I'm pretty sure BL cannot touch him until after the 2004 season, not "whenever they want", as that was the point of the deal.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:33 AM on June 13, 2003

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