Former U.S. int’l Friedel to retire

Brad Friedel (pictured) in action for the USA during its historic 2002 FIFA World Cup win over Portugal. (Photo: Mexsport)

LONDON -- Former U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who backstopped the Americans to a surprising quarterfinal finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, announced his retirement from the game on Thursday, effective at the end of the season. 

Friedel, 43, made his announcement on the Tottenham Hotspur website. He had been a member for the English Premier League side for the past four years, although he took a reserve role behind No. 1 keeper Hugo Loris in 2012. 

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

The 82-time capped Friedel will become an analyst and co-commentator for Fox Sports and will also be Tottenham’s club ambassador in the USA. 

“One thing I will miss is that day-to-day interaction with the staff and players," he continued.  "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. 

“I’ve got some wonderful opportunities in front of me working for Fox TV and I’m completing my pro license.  I’ve had a tremendous time here and met a lot of great people along the way." 

Some of his most memorable moments came against archrival Mexico in two separate international competitions.

At the 1995 Copa America quarterfinals in Uruguay, Friedel turned in a stellar performance in the penalty-kick shootout as the Americans prevailed in the tie-breaker, 4-1, after playing to a scoreless draw.

At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he helped an injury-ravaged USA register a stunning 2-0 triumph over the Mexicans in the Round of 16 in Jeonju, Korea.  The Americans reached the quarterfinals, losing to Germany, 1-0.

Friedel played 38 times in European club competitions and competed in two CONCACAF Gold Cups (1998, 2000). 

His extensive playing resume included stints with the Columbus Crew (USA), Newcastle United, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa (all England), Galatasaray (Turkey) and Brondby (Denmark).