Friend after Borussia Mönchengladbach training, October 2007
|Full name||Robert Douglas Friend|
|Date of birth||23 January 1981|
|Place of birth||Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|1999–2000||Western Michigan Broncos||40||(9)|
|2001–2002||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos||40||(31)|
|2007||→ Heracles Almelo (loan)||12||(3)|
|2012||Eintracht Frankfurt II||1||(2)|
|2013–2014||→ TSV 1860 München (loan)||22||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Robert Douglas "Rob" Friend (born 23 January 1981) is a Canadian former professional and international soccer player.
Early life and education
Friend was born 23 January 1981 in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Canada. Growing up in Kelowna, British Columbia, he was the first Kelowna-based player to make the British Columbia Provincial team, a collection of top youth players, and was named captain for the 1997 team. Friend was exposed to senior level play early, appearing for Okanagan Challenge of the Premier Development Soccer League as well as appearing in an exhibition for the Vancouver 86ers of the A-League.
Despite training with English club Crewe Alexandra F.C., Friend decided to attend Western Michigan University. He played college soccer for the Western Michigan Broncos from 1999 to 2000, having appeared in 40 games and scoring 9 goals.
Friend transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara and finished his collegiate career with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team. As a senior, Friend scored in 12 consecutive matches which ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history. He appeared in 40 games for the Gauchos, scoring 31 goals and assisting on 9 more. He was named as a 2002 All-American, becoming the first Gaucho in 32 years to receive the honor.
After graduation from UCSB, Friend went on trial with Moss FK in December 2002. After a positive showing, he signed a two-year deal in December 2002 for Moss FK's upcoming 2003 Norwegian First Division season. Despite his contract with Moss FK, Friend was drafted in the 4th Round (35th Overall) of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by Chicago Fire making him the first player from UCSB drafted to MLS.
Friend made 41 league appearances and scored 16 league goals for Moss FK over his two season span with the club before being transferred to Molde FK in August 2004. With Molde, he won the 2005 Norwegian Football Cup and scored a goal in the Final. He remained with the Molde FK until 2006, making 40 league appearances and scoring 14 league goals for the club.
Early 2006 saw interest in Friend rise with Crystal Palace F.C. and Vålerenga Fotball among teams looking to purchase him. It was announced in late March 2006 that Friend was sold to SC Heerenveen ahead of the 2006–07 Eredivisie season. Per terms of the agreement, his last game for Molde FK was in July and a portion of the transfer fee went to his original club Moss FK.
After making 19 appearances with Heerenveen and scoring five goals, he was loaned to Heracles Almelo in January 2007 to conclude the 2006–07 Eredivisie season. Despite his contributions, Heerenveen deemed him surplus to requirements and transferred him on to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
During the 2007–08 season Friend scored 18 goals in 33 matches, making him Borussia Mönchengladbach's top scorer and the second top scorer in Bundesliga 2. His team finished first, and were promoted to the Bundesliga.
On 17 August 2008, Friend scored in his very first game in the Bundesliga, against VfB Stuttgart. After three years in Mönchengladbach, including two in the Bundesliga, Friend was sold from the club and was bought by the newly relegated Hertha BSC for €1.8 million.
Friend made his debut and scored his first goal for Berlin on 14 August 2010 in a DFB-Pokal cup match versus Pfullendorf, the game ended as a 2–0 victory. Six days later he made his league debut for the team in a 3–2 victory over Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. On 12 September, Friend had a man of the match performance scoring 2 goals in a 3–1 home victory over Arminia Bielefeld at Olympic Stadium. Friend finished his first season with Hertha having scored 6 goals in 27 appearances in the 2. Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. He helped Hertha win the 2. Bundesliga gaining automatic promotion back to top flight football. On the final day of the 2011 summer transfer window, Friend returned to the second division, joining the newly relegated Eintracht Frankfurt. He was close to re-joining Major League Soccer in the United States in January 2013, but despite interest from Vancouver Whitecaps FC Friend saw his contract to completion in Germany.
On 13 January 2014, Friend made the move to Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy. After one season with Los Angeles, which included winning the 2014 MLS Cup, Friend announced his retirement on 10 December 2014 due to issues stemming from concussions.
Friend made his debut with the senior international team on 18 January 2003 in a friendly with the United States. Since then, and as of February 2013, he has been capped 32 times by his country, scoring twice. He has represented Canada in five FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
Friend was inducted into the UCSB Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. In August 2014, Friend was named as the inaugural sports ambassador for the Academy for Canadians in Sports and Entertainment – Los Angeles.
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||League playoffs||Europe||Total|
|2007–08||Borussia Mönchengladbach||2. Bundesliga||33||18||1||0||—||—||34||18|
|2010–11||Hertha BSC||2. Bundesliga||25||5||2||1||—||27||6|
|2012–13||1860 München||2. Bundesliga||14||4||0||0||—||14||4|
|Canada National Team|
|1.||4 September 2006||Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, Montreal, Canada||Jamaica||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2.||31 May 2008||Qwest Field, Seattle, United States||Brazil||1–1||2–3||Friendly|
- Excludes statistics accrued with Okanagan Challenge.
- "LA Galaxy Rob Friend player profile". LA Galaxy. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "WMU soccer teams announce recruits". Western Michigan University. 18 March 1999. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Keirns, Kristin (13 January 2014). "LA Galaxy Signs Former Bronco Men's Soccer Player Rob Friend". Western Michigan Broncos. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Division I Men's Soccer Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2015. p. 9. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "2001 UC Santa Barbara Combined Team Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 19 November 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "2002 UC Santa Barbara Combined Team Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 29 November 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "MSoc: Former Gaucho star Friend signs with Galaxy". Presidio Sports. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Rob Friend Leads Borussia Back to Bundesliga". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Friend på plass". Moss FK (in Norwegian). 8 December 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Friend klar for MFK". Moss FK (in Norwegian). 13 December 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Youth Rules 2003 SuperDraft". Major League Soccer. 17 January 2003. Archived from the original on 7 February 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Fire Selects Record Eight in Today's MLS SuperDraft". Chicago Fire Soccer Club. 17 January 2003. Archived from the original on 7 February 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Rob Friend Klubber". Football Association of Norway (in Norwegian). Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Johannessen, Sturla (18 August 2004). "Rob Friend klar for Molde". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Norway. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Haraldsen, Stian (23 March 2006). "Palace ser på Friend". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Hasle, Oslo, Norway. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "HOTLINE – DOWIE SEEKS FRIEND". Daily Mirror. London. 19 March 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Rob Friend er solgt – Moss få deler av summen". NRK (in Norwegian). 31 March 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Heracles huurt Rob Friend van Heerenveen". Voetbal International (in Dutch). Netherlands. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Heracles-speler Rob Friend over zijn roots". De Twentsche Courant Tubantia (in Dutch). Netherlands. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Hermanns, Stefan (19 June 2010). "Hertha holt Stürmer Rob Friend". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- "Hertha vs. Arminia". ESPN. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- Bottjer, Steve (10 June 2011). "De Jong continues rise for club & country". RedNationOnline.ca. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- Weber, Marc (18 January 2013). "Whitecaps make strong play to sign Canadian Rob Friend". The Province. Vancouver. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Davidson, Neil (22 December 2014). "Concussion cut Rob Friend's career short but still no shortage of highlights". Times Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Rob Friend – FIFA competition record
- "UCSB Hall of Fame". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Sneider, Jeff (8 August 2014). "'Glee' Alum Jessalyn Gilsig, LA Galaxy's Rob Friend Named ACISE-LA Ambassadors (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Santa Monica, California. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Aus Liebe zu seiner Mari: Friend nach Los Angeles". Bild (in German). Berlin. 12 January 2014. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "UCSB Profile: 2 – Mari Bell". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Rob Friend". www.FootballDatabase.eu. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Rob Friend". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Norwegian stats". Football Association of Norway (in Norwegian). Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Spillerfakta". MFKWeb.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Rob Friend". FussballDaten.de (in German). Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "UEFA stats". UEFA. Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Canada profile". Canadian Soccer Association. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
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