European Soccer

Friedel plays in record 167th straight match

Brad Friedel 2 (AP) 

You can call Brad Friedel big, imposing, dominating, but you must also call him reliable. The 37-year-old goalkeeper showed just how reliable on Saturday when he appeared in his 167th straight English Premier League match in Aston Villa's scoreless draw vs. Fulham, breaking the record previously held by English goalkeeper David James.

That is more than four straight seasons without missing a match, meaning you have to go back to 2004 to the last time Friedel didn't put on the gloves for an EPL match.

The feat is an amazing one for any player, but for Friedel to reach the milestone at his age, and playing at the level he is playing, is a testament to what has to be considered one of the most successful careers in American soccer history.

What do you think of Friedel's accomplishment? What is your favorite Brad Friedel moment? Are you looking forward to the day he comes back to MLS?

Share your thoughts below. 

  • William

    Wow — I wish I’d get an award for just showing up to work everyday. Consign this honor to the same rubbish heap that Cal Ripkin’s attendance award is on.


  • Christopher Davis

    i guess it is cool that an American is the reliable player in the prem and knows how to stay healthy. i hope he can stay healthy for villa.


  • Betinho

    It was nice of him to retire from international play. Keller or Howard would have rarley had a sniff if he didn’t. He’s USA’s all time best player.


  • biologic

    william…stick a sock in it. it’s not an award, it’s a milestone/record. either way, he deserves an award. the guy is a machine.

    favorite brad friedel moment… actually, most of the 2002 world cup.


  • RS

    Wow William…You are way off base here.

    No injuries, no random knocks in warm-ups, no asking for a day off and most importantly not being benched for poor play. This is a nice accomplishment for Brad. The American keepers have been so impressive over the years. Now if we can only get a top-class striker to put some goals in the back of the net.


  • BK

    Favorite Friedel moment? Pick just about any game of the 2002 World Cup. He deserves “Legend” status for his performance there alone.


  • BK

    Favorite Friedel moment? Pick just about any game of the 2002 World Cup. He deserves “Legend” status for his performance there alone.


  • Christian in Muswell Hil


    Do you collide with grown men, their cleats, knees, shins, bodies on a weekly basis in games and training? Does your job involve throwing your body at balls coming at you at 100 mph? (The joke is too obvious to make..)

    Friedel is a Legend with a capital L and deserves our respect not just for his Nat service, but also for his devotion to the future of American Soccer. His Academy in Ohio puts his money where his mouth is. The man is giving back.

    You want to pop off about Eddie Johnson, John O’Brien, Benny, Clint Mathis, Rossi, etc etc be my guest, but Friedel is unassailable.

    Favorite Friedel moment? Meeting him after a victory v Tottenham with my best friend. Friedel was an absolute gentleman: humble, polite, generous with his time. Also, I’m going to love watching some future alum of his Academy score a goal, or save a penalty, in the World Cup


  • Jim in Stroudsburg, PA

    I’m with you guys about Friedel’s 2002 World Cup performance being my best playing memory of him.

    I am with Christian about having had the opportunity to meet Brad after a loss at Old Trafford. Friedel was without question the personification of gentleman. We spoke for at least 5-10 minutes following the match, when I know he was very hurried for time.

    Being Catholic, I was pleased to see Brad wearing the WWJD bracelet and seeing him say a little prayer before the match at Old Trafford. I knew he did this from watching him play in other EPL matches on TV, however to be able to see the man realize that God Himself is the reason why Brad was able to attain everything that he has been able to, was great.

    Brad Friedel is a gentleman, and a definite role model to look up to. As was said before, his Academy is proof that he knows that he was given a gift, and wants to give back. It’s just a shame that he isn’t more appreciated in his home country!


  • Cory

    The USA has produced several of top quality goalkeepers in Europe being Keller, Howard, Hahnmann and Friedel himself. And the up and comers are Guzan, Robles, Perkins and Seitz/Cervi. Our best talent is goalkeepers and that’s something where he have the edge over England or even France.


  • eric

    I loved seeing in the recent Villa – Man U game, the Guardian’s MBM had Villa starting “Superman” at keeper. Take a bow, Big Brad.


  • Danny

    Friedal is the 2nd best American footballer ever. First? Brian McBride of course.

    Kudos to Brad.


  • AndyinSeattle

    Mr Friedel truly is our greatest player in history. I’ve never even heard of the guy Danny’s talking about.

    Hopefully he gets an MLS Cup championship when he retires from EPL. Wishful thinking has him going to Columbus after Hesmer heads to Europe.


  • Joe

    I’m pretty sure my best memory of Brad Friedel will be his — ahem — wonderful performance against Poland in 2002. People seem to think that he was impenetrable in Korea–he played well, but wasn’t the wall as popular belief seems to suggest he was. A great game against Korea and a good game against Mexico coupled with poor showings against Portugal, Poland and a Germany game where he didn’t honestly have that much to do don’t make one a superstar.

    Brad is a great keeper. I still believe that when both were on top form Keller was better….. but Friedel’s top form wasn’t much higher than his regular form; just consistent which is why he’s got this record.

    Will he come back to MLS? I have my doubts he ever would. He has the reputation and skills to remain in the Premier League until he retires. If he does come back, he will probably be in Columbus, but I see it rather as a (GK) coach, and that’s only if a European team doesn’t snatch him up first. I just don’t see him as the type to return to MLS, despite his clinic in Ohio.


  • zach

    Will Friedel ever play for MNT again? Think he will come back to back up Howard? Or maybe even start ahead of him?


  • zach

    It seems silly not to have our best players playing in a world cup…Bring back McBride as well!


  • Raghu

    Friedel was ridiculous in the WC in Korea. My favorite Friedel moment had to be when he saved that PK against S. Korea. Amazing. Probably the best the US has ever produced. Even at this age – is considered one of the best keeps in all of teh Premiership and the world.


  • fieldsy

    Friedel has had a great season so far for villa. any chance he unretires to join the Nats?


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