Players - Brad Friedel

Brad Friedel
Birthdate: 18 May 1971
Birthplace: Lakewood, Ohio, USA
Other clubs: United States Soccer Federation (1994-95), Brøndby (loan 1995), Galatasaray (1995-96), Columbus Crew (1996-97), Blackburn Rovers (2000-08), Aston Villa (2008-11), Tottenham Hotspur (2011-15)
Bought from: Columbus Crew
Signed for LFC: £1m, 23.12.1997
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
League games / goals / assists: 25 / 0 / 0
Total games / goals / assists: 31 / 0 / 0
League clean sheets: 6
Total clean sheets: 7

Player Profile

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.

Hugo Lloris was Tottenham's first-choice goalkeeper in 2013/14. Friedel only played in one Premier League match when Lloris was recovering from a head-injury. Brad also started two League Cup-ties and six matches in the Europa League. He stayed one more campaign at Spurs before retiring in 2015. He went on to do some media work and coach the USA under 19 team before being appointed head coach at MLS side New England Revolution on 9th November 2017. He was sacked after a disappointing start to the 2019 season, which saw just two wins from the opening twelve games. 
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 25 0 4 2 0 31
1997-1998 11 0 0 0 0 11
1998-1999 12 0 2 2 0 16
1999-2000 2 0 2 0 0 4
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
3 270 Manchester United
3 270 Southampton
3 270 Tottenham
2 180 Chelsea
2 180 West Ham United
2 180 Coventry City
2 180 Arsenal
1 90 Fulham
1 90 Sheffield Wednesday
1 90 Newcastle United
1 90 Hull City
1 90 Derby
1 90 Aston Villa
1 90 Charlton Athletic
1 90 Bolton Wanderers
1 90 Blackburn Rovers
1 90 Crystal Palace
1 90 Barnsley
1 90 Wimbledon
1 90 Kosice
1 27 Celta Vigo
Total Started/substitutions
30 Started
60 On the bench
1 Substitute
0 Substituted
Total Venue
16 Away
15 Home
Total Competition
25 Premier League
4 League Cup
2 UEFA Cup
Total W D L Win % Manager
11 5 3 3 45.5% Roy Evans
10 5 2 3 50% Evans / Houllier
10 5 2 3 50% Gérard Houllier
Clean sheets per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 6 0 0 1 0 7
1997-1998 2 0 0 0 0 2
1998-1999 3 0 0 1 0 4
1999-2000 1 0 0 0 0 1
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 28.02.1998 Aston Villa Villa Park League
Related Articles
Press Association report

Press Association report on Liverpool - Bolton Wanderers on 07.03.1998

Crouch fluffs lines on return to Liverpool limelight

The Guardian report on Blackburn - Liverpool on 26.12.2006.

The Sunday Telegraph match report

Match report from The Sunday Telegraph on Blackburn Rovers - Liverpool on 24.04.1999.

Patience is wearing thin at Liverpool

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Blackburn Rovers on 26.12.2002.

The Guardian match report

Match report from The Guardian on Manchester United - Liverpool on 24.09.1998.

The 365 Questionnaire with Brad Friedel

An article from "Football 365" from 4th of August 1999.

Related Quotes

"Mr Houllier came in and made a lot of changes and I was one of them. There was nothing more or less to it. I don't hold any grudges towards Gerard Houllier. But I don't regret signing for them for one second because I believe you learn more in adverse situations than you do in positive ones."

Brad Friedel

"When I was there what Houllier was doing was absolutely correct. The club needed to be revamped. I was amazed when I signed that a big club like Liverpool was run the way it was. They had the attitude that 'this is Liverpool and we are always going to be the best'.

That is not the case anymore. Houllier is an absolute workaholic and changed the mentality of the club. Now it is run like a top professional football club."

Friedel in 2004

Brad's on a high
Brad's on a high
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
United States Soccer Federation 1994-1995 0 0 0 0
Brøndby 1995 Denmark 1 10 0 10 0
Galatasaray 1995-1996 Turkey 1 30 0 37 0
Columbus Crew 1996-1997 MLS 38 0 45 0
Blackburn Rovers 2000-2001 England First Division 27 0 33 0
Blackburn Rovers 2001-2002 England Premier League 36 0 45 0
Blackburn Rovers 2002-2003 England Premier League 37 0 47 0
Blackburn Rovers 2003-2004 England Premier League 36 1 40 1
Blackburn Rovers 2004-2005 England Premier League 38 0 53 0
Blackburn Rovers 2005-2006 England Premier League 38 0 46 0
Blackburn Rovers 2006-2007 England Premier League 38 0 53 0
Blackburn Rovers 2007-2008 England Premier League 38 0 46 0
Aston Villa 2008-2009 England Premier League 38 0 46 0
Aston Villa 2009-2010 England Premier League 38 0 42 0
Aston Villa 2010-2011 England Premier League 38 0 43 0
Tottenham 2011-2012 England Premier League 38 0 38 0
Tottenham 2012-2013 England Premier League 0 0 0 0
Total 518 1 624 1