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Former USMNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel announces retirement

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel of Tottenham Hotspur

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One of the longest-tenured American soccer players is set to hang up his cleats, and gloves, at the end of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur announced on their official website that Brad Friedel will retire from playing at the end of the 2014/2015 season, ending a 21-year professional career. Friedel has spent the past four seasons with Tottenham after joining the club on a free transfer after his contract expired with Aston Villa at the end of the 2010/2011 season.

“I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved in my career,” Friedel told Tottenham’s website. “When I first started the journey I never imagined it would be this long, playing 23 seasons in total and representing some incredible clubs.

“One thing I will miss is that day-to-day interaction with the staff and players. There really is nothing like it but my 44th birthday is here so I think it is a good time to call it a day.”

Friedel, 43, has served as mainly the backup goalkeeper over the past two seasons and has been spending time coaching in the Tottenham youth set up as well as the U.S. youth national team set-up.

Friedel coached with Tab Ramos and the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team at the CONCACAF Championships last January and he’ll be on the coaching staff in New Zealand for the FIFA 2015 Under-20 World Cup later this month.

The retirement announcement includes Friedel’s future plans, which is to become a full-time analyst with FOX Sports, part-time coach with U.S. Soccer, and serve as a Tottenham ambassador in the USA and work with clubs that are affiliated with Tottenham in the USA.

“I’ve got some wonderful opportunities in front of me working for Fox TV and I’m completing my pro license,” Friedel said. “I’ve also signed on as a Club Ambassador for Spurs focusing on the USA.  I’ve got a great relationship with the staff and Board, so I’ll certainly do my bit to help the club go further.

“I’ve had a tremendous time here and met a lot of great people along the way.  This is a wonderful football club and I feel honoured to have been a part of it for four years.”

Friedel goes down as one of the top U.S. players, not just goalkeepers, in the history of American soccer. He holds the record for most consecutive starts in the English Premier League, with 310, which he earned between Aston Villa, Tottenham, and Blackburn, where he played for eight years between 2000 and 2008.

The Lakewood, Ohio-native also played one and a half seasons in MLS, after joining the Columbus Crew midway through the league’s inaugural season in 1996 from Galatasaray, before leaving at the end of the 1997 season to join Liverpool.

For the U.S. Men’s National Team, Friedel is 23rd all time with 82 caps in his career. Friedel served as the No. 1 goalkeeper for the U.S. during their impressive run to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals.

Friedel retired from international play in 2005.


What do you think of this news? What are your favorite memories of Friedel? Where does he go down in U.S. Soccer history?

Share your thoughts below.


      • True enough. It takes a while to re-acquire the language. Perhaps a stint in rehab to speed the process is in order.

      • I lived and worked in England for several year. Not a hint of an English accent. My NY accent softened a bit,…but no English accent. Like I said,…he needs to retire the wak accent.

      • First, he hardly has an English accent.

        Second, you spent several years in England and didn’t acquire anything like an English accent. Others do.

      • “I lived and worked in England for several year.”

        Several years vs more than 20 years for Friedel. Yeah, your experience is just like his. Snort.

        Some people pick up accents. Harkes picked up an accent when he was playing for Sheffield Wednesday. There’s nothing wrong with that, although you should really get rid of that wack NY accent. So obnoxious.

    • I also lived in England for several years and now I still sound as Jersey as before I left but while I was there I sounded a little different. Ohio + Lancastrian = Brad Friedel accent.

  1. Hope to see big things come from his coaching badges, he’s undoubtedly been in the game long enough to have an invaluable wealth of knowledge about the game and the way its played, as well as having been in enough locker rooms to know how to deal with players young and old, big egos and small. Can’t wait to see him on the bench in New Zealand.

    Best of luck, Brad! But if your career up to this point has been any indication of how the next stage of your life is going to go, you won’t need luck.

  2. The performance against S. Korea in 2002 was amazing. I can still seeing emerging from that penalty save. Insane.

  3. Favorite Friedel Moment: 2000 Olympics (NBC televised every USA game, which blew me away back then). USA v. Czech Republic in the opening match …

    Late in the game Friedel has the ball in his hands at the top of his penalty area and launches a 60-yard THROW right up the middle to a streaking Chris Albright (who played forward back then!). Albright gets taken down from behind in the box and NO PENALTY, and the game ends in a draw.

    That throw by Friedel though … was the first time I had seen a goalkeeper spark a counter-attack all by himself with a long throw up the middle. One of his biggest assets was his distribution from the back.

    Donovan was just around 17 then and was on the bench for most of the tournament. Clive Charles was coach. Wasn’t a great team, but they were fun to watch, and had a lot of young players who went on to do great things. Friedel was in his prime then and was the perfect choice for one of the “overage” players.

      • “He also assisted what I think is the best goal ever scored in MLS, in 1996 to Brian McBride.”

        That wasn’t Friedel. It was Bo Oshoniyi who was in goal in the Crew’s inaugural home match. I was there. Amazing goal.

  4. Legend. Especially for me as a Blackburn supporter – I’m biased but I think at his peak he was arguably the best GK in the PL.


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