Birthdate: 18 May 1971
Birthplace: Lakewood, Ohio, USA
Other clubs: United States Soccer Federation (1994-95), Newcastle United (loan 1994), Brøndby (loan 1995), Galatasaray (1995-96), Columbus Crew (1996-97), Blackburn Rovers (2000-08), Aston Villa (2008-11), Tottenham Hotspur (2011-)
Bought from: Columbus Crew
Signed for LFC: £1m, 19.12.1997
International debut: 03.09.1992 vs. Canada
International caps: 82/0 - 07.02.2005 (announced retirement)
Liverpool debut: 28.02.1998
Last appearance: 23.10.1999
Contract expiry: 03.11.2000
Win ratio: 48.39% W: 15 D: 7 L: 9
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 22 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 25 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 31 / 0
Friedel started his European career with Brøndby in the spring of 1995 after his appeal for a work permit to play for Newcastle was denied. He was on loan from the United States Soccer Federation where he had signed a contract to play exclusively with the United States national team as it prepared for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. After ten appearances in the Brøndby goal his next stop was Galatasaray in Turkey where he moved permanently in September 1995. He lasted there about ten months before moving to his dear old US of A, joining Columbus Crew. The following year he was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Roy Evans wanted him to join Liverpool but had problems in getting him a work permit. The Department of Employment stated that a foreign player must have played "approximately" 75 per cent of internationals in the past two years. 'Brad's percentage is 71 percent,
so how approximate is that?,' asked Friedel's agent, Paul Stretford. Liverpool appealed the decision but meanwhile both Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers offered him to join them, but Friedel had set his hopes on a move to Merseyside.
Liverpool won their appeal and Friedel sealed his deal with the Reds on 19 December 1997. David James was first-choice 'keeper and Friedel had to warm the bench in 11 games but, finally, after waiting four years to make his debut in the Premier League, originally hoping to play for Newcastle, Friedel started for Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park on 28 February 1998. He played in Liverpool’s final 11 games of the 1997/98 season, winning five, drawing three and losing three, assuring the club of a UEFA Cup place. Houllier was named joint-manager to Evans in the summer but Friedel kept his place. Sloppy performances culminating in a disaster against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 24 September 1998 cost him his starting berth after an eight-game run. Friedel got the occasional chance in the League Cup, but he did replace James in the last five games of the 1998/99 season. Sander Westerveld came in from Holland and James went out in the summer of 2000 and it soon became apparent that the best Friedel could hope for was being a reserve 'keeper at Liverpool.
Friedel moved to Blackburn Rovers on 3 November 2000, regained his confidence and established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the Premiership. He had a sensational World Cup in 2002 when USA reached the quarter-finals. He became the first 'keeper since 1974 to save two penalties in regular time in a World Cup tournament. In the summer of 2008 Friedel joined Aston Villa where he stayed for the duration of his three-year contract. His Villa boss, Martin O'Neill, sang his praises: "He is remarkably fit. If we were doing a half mile run, of all the seniors and young players, Brad would be in the first eight, which is remarkable." With Friedel being a free agent in the summer of 2011 Liverpool were rumoured to be interested but surely he would have been only a reserve to Reina. Heurelho Gomes' inconsistency resulted in Harry Redknapp offering Friedel to become number one at White Hart Lane and shortly after his fortieth birthday, he signed a two-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur. For the eighth season in a row Friedel played in every Premier League match, a remarkable achievement for a man who celebrated his forty-first birthday a few days after the 2011/12 season ended. He only conceded 41 goals in the 38 League matches and this excellent defensive record helped Spurs finish in fourth place. On 21 April 2012 he played his 300th Premier League game in a row, against Queens Park Rangers. He was awarded a Barclays Merit Award for his unique achievement. 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 and he eventually lost his place to Hugo Lloris.
For the first time since he was at Blackburn Rovers in 2004/05, Friedel did not play in all 38 Premier League matches for his English club. But his form when selected and his status were enough for him to be offered a new contract which would keep him at Tottenham Hotspur until 2014, by which time he would be approaching his 43rd birthday.