PURCHASE, N.Y. – Obviously, Tommy McNamara's club manager isn't privy to the inner workings of the Irish national team.
But the New York City FC midfielder's name has surfaced again, this time ahead of Ireland's next World Cup 2018 qualifier, and NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira doesn't see why McNamara's name shouldn't be in the mix.
“Obviously I believe Tommy deserves more credit than he is having at the moment because of the way he plays,” Vieira said. “He’s a smart player, a really good player, a team player and his work ethic is really good on the field. If he keeps working like that, why not?”
The 25-year-old McNamara, a native of West Nyack, New York, who holds dual Irish and US citizenship, is a big reason that New York City FC led the Eastern Conference going into Wednesday's midweek matches. He is fifth in assists in MLS with nine, three times his total from last year. Five of those came on game-winning goals, and McNamara has four tallies of his own in 24 appearances.
And with LA Galaxy star Robbie Keane announcing that he will retire from international football after Ireland's friendly against Oman on Aug. 31, is there a better time for Ireland manager Martin O'Neill to call in Tommy Mac ahead of the Sept. 5 qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade?
Maybe not – but McNamara said there’s been no new contact with O’Neill or the Football Association of Ireland, who made a preliminary inquiry within the last year.
“It’s still the same situation,” McNamara said. “I haven’t heard anything.”
McNamara, though, said he is primed and ready should a call come from Ireland – or from United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I feel good, I feel fit, I feel healthy,” McNamara said. “I know the international window is about to open up both for Ireland and the U.S. I’m not really too focused on it. I’m focused on here. Whatever happens, happens.”