Date:Saturday November 4 2006
Full Name: Bradley Howard Friedel
Date of Birth: 18th May 1971, Lakewood
Squad Number: 1
Internationals: 82 Caps for USA (1992-2005)
Signed: October 2001
Previous Clubs: Brondby (Denmark), Galatasaray (Turkey), Columbus Crew (USA) & Liverpool
Brad Friedel began his career in the late 1980's early 1990's in America but he has spent most of his time in European football.
A successful spell in Danish football with Brondby during the early 1990's brought him to the attention of several English clubs and had moves to Newcastle United and Sunderland not fallen through due to work permit problems in the mid 1990's things could have been much different for Friedel and Rovers but luckily things panned out as they did.
These work permit refusals lead to Friedel making the move to link up with Graeme Souness who signed him for Galatasaray during his spell in charge of the Turkish side. Upon Souness' departure Friedel returned to America for the 1996-1997 season to play for Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew being voted Goalkeeper of the Year in 1997.
Following this an ill fated four year spell with Liverpool began in 1997. With chances limited and praise rarely given although Friedel is a goalkeeper of superb quality he was often somewhat unfairly accused of being a liability. He therefore managed only 25 League appearances for Liverpool due to these thoughts.
Souness again signed the American, brining him to Rovers in 2001 upon the return to the Premiership for the 2001-2002 season. His amazingly consistent displays during his time with Rovers have been a key factor for the club, helping them win the 2002 Worthington Cup. Such displays had brought rumoured interest from the likes Arsenal and Manchester United, how Liverpool must have been ruing their decision especially in light of some of the goalkeepers they had over the years after his departure!
The 2002-2003 season saw his efforts rewarded as he was voted into the PFA Team of the Year also voted Rovers Payer of the Season. Friedel can also score goals as well as save them. He scored his debut Premiership goal against Charlton Athletic in February 2004 deep into injury to bring Rovers level at 2-2... they still went on to lose the game 3-2!
Friedel represented the American national side between 1992 and 2005 being a member of three successive American World Cup squads. The first came in his homeland in 1994, the second 1998 in France and his third, final and most successful the 2002 Finals in Japan and Korea. His impressive displays in 2002 helped the Americans reach the quarter finals seeing him save two penalties in one match along the way, a performance he equalled against Sheffield United in the Premiership early in the 2006-2007 season.
Besides his footballing career in 2006 Brad started work on his Premier Soccer Academies Project. The American based $10 million project will provide athletes with world-class coaching regardless as to their social standing and background.
Blackburn Rovers Appearances and Goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
League: 211 - 1 goal
FA Cup: 22
League Cup: 16
Other (European etc.): 6
TOTAL: 255 - 1 goal
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Date:Saturday November 4 2006
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