Sometimes, there's a man. I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero?
But sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talking about Tommy Mac here.
Sometimes, there's a man. And well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's Thomas Liam McNamara right here in the United States of faaackin' America.
Throughout this year, we've heard rumblings from both sides of the Atlantic about McNamara's international prospects, beginning with the Football Association of Ireland's verification of whether or not the NYCFC man holds both U.S. and Irish passports (he does).
While McNamara told members of the press two weeks back at David Villa's MVP reception that he's had no further formal contact with Irish football, a new opportunity may be in the offing with these United States.
Let's set the scene: on November 29th, Major League Soccer's resident Armchair Analyst, Matthew Doyle, named T-Mac to his ideal USMNT roster for January's upcoming camp, which tends to include players on the March-to-December season schedule (that is, not Europe's).
With news that new U.S. manager Bruce Arena considers his player pool to consist of about 50-60 players -- he later added that about two thirds of them are in MLS -- FourFourTwo released a list of its Top 50 players eligible for consideration on December 13th. Who checked in right there at #50? You-know-who.
As FourFourTwo's Richard Farley wrote:
Even coming into the league, when McNamara’s lack of physicality (read: size, strength, speed) saw him fall out of the 2014 SuperDraft’s first round, the Clemson product was dismissed, but from his first moments with Chivas USA, his superior instincts, both on and off the ball, have made his draft slide seem foolish.
Now with New York City FC, McNamara has already accumulated 11 goals and 12 assists in 55 career appearances. While there are sure to be more challengers for McNamara’s job, to this point, his skill and creativity have helped him best all comers. One day, those traits may earn him a try from Bruce Arena.
Hear that sound? That's the sound of opportunity, and also my heart bursting through my ribs and sternum and shooting subsequently through drywall and concrete and hurtling into low earth orbit.
Arena's return to the USMNT helm promises to be a reboot of sorts for the Stars and Stripes. More so than ever, it's not wrong to hold out hope that the future U.S. attack will sport a touch of Tommy Mac.