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Brad Friedel named U.S. U-19 coach, Omid Namazi takes over U-18 team


Less than a year after retiring from his lengthy and successful playing career, former U.S. Men’s National team standout Brad Friedel is ready to take on the next chapter of his life as a coach.

Friedel was named U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team coach on Monday, taking over a newly-created age group in the USMNT youth structure. U.S. Soccer also announced the appointment of former Iran head coach Omid Namazi as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team.

“Brad Friedel played at the highest level for almost two decades, and his knowledge will be a huge benefit to our young players,” said USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Omid Namazi has not only been a professional player at all levels in the United States, he has worked as a coach both here and overseas which adds important perspective. They have both been assistant coaches in our Youth National Teams, so this is another important step in connecting the dots between our teams.”

A three-time World Cup veteran, Friedel takes over the reigns of the Under-19 team after earning 82 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team in his professional playing career.

Namazi served as a U.S. Under-20 assistant coach for the past two years and also brings extensive playing experience to the table, having played for 18 years.


  1. “Brad Friedel named U.S. U-19 coach”

    I know our resident xenophones will disagree, but I think it’s a great move to appoint a revered retired British goalkeeper to manage the U-19’s. We need more foreign/diversity with managers in the US ranks and Friedel is a homerun.

  2. Interesting comments bottlecaps. Don’t know Freidel but Omid is at least a nice person, don’t really know him that well as a coach. I just can’t figure out the whole Freidel deal.One day he is in the booth, the next on the sideline.
    With his vast experience he would be an asset to US Soccer and possibly a good head coach down the line. But we seem to hand jobs over to guys who have less than 1,000 hours coaching but then preach the 10,000 hours rule. Very sad how we really have no plan.

    • Freidel does have a UEFA A coaching license and has been helping with the youth teams, so I think it’s a good hire for the both of them. Hope from top to bottom all US coaches work together and build a nice program for the future. I think long term hopefully next 5 to 7 years a difference should be noticeable

    • I’m almost positive Freidel has been in a player-coach role for his last few seasons at Tottenham.

      Also, with the rise of academies, our USYNT coaches will have a far narrower responsibility on the development of youth players than before. Youth national teams are about scouting, introducing young players to the national team picture, and establishing what’s expected of international-caliber players; not about physical and technical development.

  3. Namazi was just awful with the U20’s. Under his tutelage, they were crushed last year by Germany 8-1. Another delightful Klinsmann pick. As for Friedel, let’s hope his years in the EPL have made him a better coach than when he had his pay-for-play academy that went belly-up.

    I think that the age groups are hard to get a handle on, but because FIFA and UEFA created so many age groups at the request of and for tournaments directors, federations and leagues. It is not good to be handed off to a new coach every year and have to adapt to a new direction, offensive and defensive schemas and new training styles. It can and does cause unneeded confusion.

    • Or we can do what the rest of the world does and have a very well defined playing style that carries all he way through the different age groups. I believe it’s called Soccer 101

      • Exactly. Which is why Klinsmann as TD mandated a 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 (I think diamond, but I am unsure) as the defacto formation to be trained and used by all levels. It creates continuity.

    • Need to set the record straight, Freidel’s academy was “free to play” and not “pay-to-play” — which is part of the reason it went under (in addition to bad timing with the 2008 crash). Freidel put up millions of his own money and devoted substantial amounts of his time training youth players in this country all while at the height of his career. No one should question his hire or his desire to train America’s youth and to bring them to the next level.

      • Stop muddying the waters with facts! Just kidding. I think BF is a good choice and hope he is successful. Maybe he can slide into the senior team next…

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