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

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

International Soccer

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.

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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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