Friedel at practice with Tottenham Hotspur
|Full name||Bradley Howard Friedel|
|Date of birth||May 18, 1971|
|Place of birth||Lakewood, Ohio, United States|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Current club||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1994||→ Newcastle United (loan)||0||(0)|
|1995||→ Brøndby (loan)||10||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:16, 21 April 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
He played 82 games for the United States national team between 1992 and 2005, and represented his country at three FIFA World Cup tournaments. He is the current holder of the Premier League record for most consecutive appearances with 310, a feat he achieved during spells at Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur. Until he was left out of the Tottenham team on 7 October 2012, the last Premier League games Friedel missed were Blackburn's final two fixtures of the 2003–04 season against Tottenham and Birmingham City, on 10 May and 15 May 2004 respectively.
He is also officially Aston Villa's oldest ever player, a record he achieved on 1 February 2011 by playing in the club's Premier League fixture away at Manchester United. Friedel's age of 39 years and 259 days surpassed the previous record held by Ernie Callaghan who last played for Villa against Grimsby Town in April 1947, aged 39 years and 257 days. Friedel's last appearance for Villa was on 22 May 2011 in a 1–0 home win against Liverpool, aged 40 years and 4 days.
On 6 May 2012 he also became the oldest player to appear in a competitive match for Tottenham Hotspur when he played in the club's Premier League fixture at Aston Villa, beating Jimmy Cantrell's near-80-year-old record.
Youth and college
Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Friedel grew up in Bay Village, where he attended Westerly Elementary School, Bay Middle School and Bay High School. Growing up, Friedel played several sports, including soccer, basketball and tennis and excelled in all three. He earned Bay High's Outstanding Athlete of the Year award in 1989. As an All-State basketball player in Ohio, he was invited to try out as a walk-on for UCLA's basketball team in 1990. He began as a forward on his youth soccer team before moving into goal. Friedel graduated from Bay High in 1989. In 2007, he was inducted into the Bay High Hall of Fame.
Friedel played college soccer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1990, he kept goal for the Bruins to the NCAA championship. He was selected as the first team All American goalkeeper in 1991 and 1992 and won the Hermann Trophy in 1992 as the top collegiate soccer player. SoccerAmerica magazine named Friedel to its College Team of the Century.
Friedel left UCLA early to pursue a professional career. He began by attempting to sign with Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough, but was denied a work permit, the first in several such failed attempts to move to England. Instead, Friedel signed a contract with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to play exclusively with the United States national team as it prepared for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Following the end of the cup, Friedel began searching for a professional club.
Friedel was signed by manager Kevin Keegan of Newcastle United, but was again denied a work permit. While awaiting approval from the British authorities, he practiced with Newcastle as an on loan player from the USSF. When the work permit was not approved, Friedel negotiated a loan from the USSF to Danish Superliga club Brøndby IF. He stayed at the club for several months in 1995, as back-up to Mogens Krogh, without playing any games. Friedel remained with Brøndby until he returned to the U.S. to rejoin the national team, then preparing for the 1995 U.S. Cup and Copa America.
After the two tournaments, Friedel attempted a third time to join an English club, this time Sunderland. However, when Friedel again failed to receive a British work permit, his agent negotiated a $1.1 million transfer from the USSF to leading Turkish team Galatasaray in 1995. Galatasaray were managed by Friedel's future Blackburn manager Graeme Souness. In July 1996, following the end of the Turkish season, Friedel moved to the Columbus Crew of MLS. As he arrived mid-season, he initially served as a backup to starter Bo Oshoniyi, but by the end of the season, had managed to play nine games in which he conceded only 7 goals. In February 1997, he signed a three year contract with the Crew as he was named the team's starter. That season he was selected to the MLS Best XI and named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Friedel completed a transfer to Liverpool worth £1.7 million in 1997. On December 23, 1997, Liverpool gained a work permit for Friedel on appeal after the first request was denied. He made his debut against Aston Villa on February 28, 1998. While Friedel had some initial success with the Reds, he soon had a difficult time, managing just over thirty games in almost three years, including two appearances in the UEFA Cup, as he sat behind first David James and later Sander Westerveld.
Joining during Rovers' promotion winning 2000–01 season, Friedel's consistently assured performances helped ensure Blackburn's return to the Premiership and then consolidate their top division status in the followings seasons.
Memorable performances for Blackburn include playing against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Final in early 2002 when he was named Man of the Match. In a 2–1 win over Arsenal at Highbury, Friedel made several immense saves and was only beaten by a deflected free kick. A stunning performance away at Southampton prompted Gordon Strachan to liken him to Superman, "Friedel must have got changed in a telephone box. I wouldn't be surprised if when he takes his shirt off there's a blue jersey with an `S' on underneath it."
At the end of the 2002–03 season, Friedel's 15 clean sheets earned him Blackburn's Player of the Year award as well as selection to the Premiership Starting XI. On February 21, 2004, in an away game against Charlton Athletic, Friedel scored a goal from open play in the 90th minute, from a corner kick. Friedel's goal equalized the game at 2–2, but seconds later Charlton scored again through Claus Jensen and went on to win the match 3–2. He became the second goalkeeper in Premier League history (excluding own goals) to score after Peter Schmeichel for Aston Villa in 2001.
Friedel extended his contract with Blackburn Rovers on April 14, 2006, stating his love for the club as a reason. Two years later, on February 5, 2008, he again signed an extension to his Rovers contract stating that "I am delighted to have extended the agreement. It was not a difficult decision to make. Blackburn Rovers is home to me. This is my club and I have a special affinity with it." He would, however, leave the club at the end of the season to join Aston Villa.
Friedel had asked Blackburn Rovers for permission to let him speak with Aston Villa if an offer was accepted, with Manchester City reportedly interested in signing the American. The club accepted a transfer bid for Friedel, thought to be in the region of £2.5 million, subject to the club themselves having a bid accepted for a replacement goalkeeper.
Aston Villa were holding talks with Brad Friedel on July 25. Friedel signed a three-year contract with Aston Villa the day after. Friedel was unveiled at half time during Aston Villa's Intertoto Cup match against Odense.
He made his debut against Reading on August 2 at the Madejski Stadium. Just ten minutes in the hosts were awarded a penalty which Friedel then saved. His competitive debut came in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round, first leg against Hafnarfjordur away from home. Villa won the match 4–1. Friedel played his first Premiership match for Aston Villa on August 17, 2008, the first match for Aston Villa in the season 2008–09, in which Villa beat Manchester City 4–2 at home.
He broke the record for continuous games played in the Premier League on November 30, 2008, after his 167th finished in a 0–0 draw with Fulham. He was sent off against former club Liverpool at Anfield by referee Martin Atkinson. Liverpool were awarded a penalty that Steven Gerrard converted against Villa's second choice goalkeeper, Brad Guzan. Friedel's red card, which he received on the Sunday beforehand, was overturned by the FA on March 24, meaning that he was able to continue his streak of consecutive Premiership appearances. On January 16, 2011, he reached the landmark of 250 consecutive league games.
Friedel's contract with Aston Villa expired after the 2010–11 season. On 3 June 2011, Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had signed Friedel on a two year-deal. On 22 August 2011, Friedel started in goal for Tottenham at Old Trafford against Manchester United, after Tottenham's first home fixture of the season against Everton the previous week was rescheduled due to rioting in North London. This meant that Friedel further extended his run of consecutive games in the Premier League after his transfer from Aston Villa. During the 2011–12 campaign, Friedel became the oldest player to make an appearance in the Barclays Premier League.
The arrival of France captain Hugo Lloris prior to the end of the 2012 summer transfer window cast some doubt on Friedel's status as Tottenham's first choice goalkeeper for the 2012-13 season. However, following an impressive display by Friedel against Norwich on 1 September 2012, manager Andre Villas-Boas said that Friedel would remain number one. Friedel's run of 310 consecutive Premier League games was ended on 7 October 2012, when he was named on the bench against Aston Villa. Friedel, however, returned in goal for the next match on 20 October 2012 against Chelsea.
Friedel is the fourth most-capped goalkeeper in U.S. national team history and gained his first international cap against Canada in 1992, a game in which he managed to keep a clean sheet. He was the first choice goalkeeper for the U.S 1992 Olympic team; however, he was unable to beat out Tony Meola as first choice keeper for the U.S. team at the 1994 World Cup. His chance came, and Friedel made his World Cup debut in the 1998 World Cup where he conceded one goal as the U.S. lost to Yugoslavia. He lived up to his growing reputation in the 2002 World Cup as the U.S. went on a surprising run to the quarterfinals, which included a 3–2 victory over Portugal in group play and a 2–0 second-round win over arch-rival Mexico before a loss to Germany (the eventual runner-up). He also became the first keeper to save two penalty kicks during regular play (as opposed to penalty shootouts) in a World Cup finals tournament since 1974. He was dubbed "The Human Wall" by fans during the spectacular 2002 World Cup run.
Though raised in the Midwestern state of Ohio, Friedel developed a slight English accent having lived in the north of the country for more than a decade. "The English don't think I have an accent at all. They think I sound American. And Americans think I sound English. I think I'm caught in the middle."
In 2006, Friedel broke ground on his dream project, Premier Soccer Academies, a $10,000,000 project that would emulate player development facilities found worldwide, located in Lorain, Ohio. The mission of Premier Soccer Academies was to provide athletes with world-class coaching and facilities regardless of their socioeconomic background.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Denmark||League||Danish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Turkey||League||Türkiye Kupası||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|USA||League||Open Cup||League Cup||North America||Total|
|1996||Columbus Crew||Major League Soccer||9||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||12||0|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2000–01||Blackburn Rovers||First Division||28||0||6||0||-||-||34||0|
- NCAA Division I (1): 1990
- NCAA Division I First-Team All-America (2): 1991, 1992
- Hermann Trophy (1): 1992
- Blackburn Rovers
- United States
- MLS Goalkeeper of the Year (1): 1997
- Alan Hardaker Trophy (1): 2002
- U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year (1): 2002
- PFA Premier League Team of the Year (1): 2002–03
- Barclays Merit Award (1): 2008–09
- IFFHS Best Goalkeepers of the 21st Century: 30th
- "Player Profile". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Aston Villa: Brad Friedel's future to be decided in February
- Bay High School Hall of Fame
- "Friedel rejected, won't play for Forest". Long Beach: Press-Telegram. 15 April 1993. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Nance, Roscoe (23 May 1994). "USA's Friedel moves up to England's top league". USA Today. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Friedel Will Finally Play For Liverpool". New York Times. 25 December 1997. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Brøndby-målmand til Galatasaray", Ritzaus Bureau, September 1, 1995
- MLS Player Register
- 1997 in Columbus Crew history
- "Friedel Is Cleared To Join Liverpool". New York Times. 20 December 1997. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Charlton 3–2 Blackburn". BBC. 21 February 2004. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Friedel Agrees to Rovers Deal
- Press Release
- "Friedel agrees to join Tottenham". BBC News. 3 June 2011.
- Kennedy, Paul (22 August 2011). "Friedel extends EPL record". SoccerAmericaDaily. Retrieved 03 December 2011.
- Hirst, Paul (3 September 2012). "Andre Villas-Boas warns Hugo Lloris about fight with Brad Friedel to become Tottenham number one". The Independent.
- "Andre Villas-Boas plays down Brad Friedel omission". BBC Sport. 7 October 2012.
- "Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 20 October 2012.
- "NEW CONTRACT FOR BRAD". Tottenham Hotspur Official Website. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Brad Friedel signs new Tottenham deal until 2014". BBC Sport. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "Friedel Retires From U.S. National Team". The Washington Post. 8 February 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Friedel retires from U.S. national team". USA Today. 8 February 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- The Official Site of U.S. Soccer – Center Circle
- "Brad Friedel’s words as safe as his hands – Birmingham Mail". Birminghammail.net. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Rosenthal, Gregg (August 2, 2012). "Cleveland Browns' sale to Jimmy Haslam complete". Around the League. National Football League. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- "Aston Villa goalie Brad Friedel declared bankrupt". Daily Mirror. 16 Mar 2013. Retrieved 16 Mar 2013.
- "Brad Friedel Career Stats". Soccerbase. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Brad Friedel | Aston Villa | Team | 1st Team Profiles
- LFChistory.net player profile
- Profile at Yanks Abroad
- Brad Friedel career stats at Soccerbase
- ESPN Stats