American hero Lichaj gets a puppy -- and a new contract could be next

Veteran American defender Eric Lichaj, hero of Nottingham Forest's 4-2 upset win over Arsenal in the English FA Cup, got a puppy on Tuesday -- and should get a new contract from the English League Championship club.

After the win over Arsenal, Lichaj revealed that his wife Kathryn had promised him she would get him a dog if he scored a hat trick, and Forest fans took to Twitter to urge her to get her husband a dog.

With two young daughters at home and a successful fashion business she had recently launched, Kathyrn Lichaj said she did not have time to look after a dog and rebuffed Eric's wishes. But since both children will later this year have the same schedules at school and Eric is willing to take the dog with him to practice, she said she started to think differently.

"He will go to bed and get pictures of dogs up and work out which is best for a family," she told the BBC Nottingham. "It was starting to do my head in, so I said if you get a hat trick we'll make a deal and you can have a dog."

On Monday, teammates, including Kieron Dowell, who scored one of the two penalty kicks that followed Lichaj's two goals, also joined in the #GetEricADog campaign. And on Tuesday, Lichaj got a dog appropriately named Gunner.



Lichaj was the Forest Player of the Year in 2016-17, the third straight season in which he played more than 40 league games, but he was on the bench for 10 of the first 11 games of the 2017-18 season after returning from the Gold Cup.

Lichaj's contract is up at the end of the season, but Forest wants to sign him to a one-year contract with a second year guaranteed if he plays at least 20 games in 2018-19. Talks were on hold after Forest slumped and manager Mark Warburton was fired, prompting speculation that Lichaj, who has again played regularly since mid-October, might move to MLS.

But Lichaj's big game with the two goals against Arsenal -- he had scored just seven goals in his previous 254 games over nine seasons in England -- has led to renewed talks.

"He is not a player this club would want to lose. You do not want to lose good players, do you?" said Gary Brazil, who was interim manager until the hiring of Spaniard Aitor Karanka on Monday. "Whatever age they are, you want to keep good players at a club and secure at the club so that they enable you to push on."
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