U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Brad Friedel Retires From International Soccer
Feb 7, 2005
The 6-foot-4 ‘keeper is probably best known for his electrifying performance at the 2002 World Cup where he started all five matches for the U.S MNT. He became just the second goalkeeper to stop two penalty kicks in the first round and recorded the first shutout in World Cup play in more than 50 years for the U.S. when he blanked Mexico 2-0 to help the U.S. to their first-ever quarterfinal finish.
Below is a statement from Friedel about his retirement, along with remarks from the President of U.S. Soccer Dr. Bob Contigulia and U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena.
After a great deal of thought, consideration and discussion I have decided that now is the right time to bring to a close to my time representing the U.S. Men's National Team. Over 15 years I have played in three World Cups, two Olympic Games and 82 international matches. I have loved every minute of it, but feel now is the right time to end my international career.
Throughout my career I have been extremely lucky not to have suffered any major injuries. However, over the last 18 months or so I have sometimes been left feeling short of full fitness because of the strain of playing for my club and my country and the huge amount of long haul travel involved.
The English Premier League is incredibly demanding and over the remaining years of my professional career I want to give myself the best possible chance to continue to play at the highest level for my club.
I have discussed my situation with a number of other professional players whose opinion I respect and we believe that without the constant long haul travel I will be much better equipped to play in the Premier League. As a result I have decided to retire from international soccer.
Despite the end of one part of my career, this is a very exciting time for me. I have learned a huge amount from my involvement with the U.S. Men's National Team and teams in Europe. With my international career coming to an end, I now have the opportunity to put something back into the game at home in the U.S.
Playing for Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers in England has given me an insight in to the way young footballers are educated and coached and for some time now I have wanted to give a similar opportunity to young players in the USA. Over the past couple of years I have been quietly developing a combined football and education youth academy based in Cleveland, Ohio, which will be the first of its kind.
We have put in a great deal of hard work, commitment and investment and I am delighted to announce that we will be in a position to open on a full time basis by the beginning of 2006, once accommodation and other building works have been completed. The academy will be a non-profit making organization and students will attend free of charge. A benefit of this will be that as a non-profit organization any donations can be treated as fully tax deductable. Anyone interested in making a donation or receiving further information should in the first instance visit to our website at: www.premiersocceracademies.com
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and helped me enjoy such a wonderful career with the U.S. Men's National Team. Every step of the way I have met people from all walks of life who have taught me something new, things that I believe will be useful to me in the next stage of my life in soccer.
Finally, on behalf of myself, my wife Tracy and daughter Izabella, I would like to say a big thank you to all the players, coaching staff, administrators and fans who have given me their friendship and support during my career. Good luck to you all for the future.
Click here for more comments from Friedel about his retirement
STATEMENTS FROM U.S. SOCCER:
"Brad Friedel's storied career with the national team speaks for itself. He is a gifted athlete, a world-class goalkeeper, and a true professional. Throughout his professional and international career, he has served as an ambassador for U.S. Soccer, and all of us in the U.S. Soccer family are grateful for his contributions to the program and to the sport of soccer in this country. We have all enjoyed watching Brad create so many memorable moments over the years, and we wish him all the best for the remainder of his career."
-- Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, President, United States Soccer Federation
"Brad has been an exemplary member of the national team program. In addition to his goalkeeping abilities, he has demonstrated a commitment and a professionalism over the years which has served as an example to all the players in our pool. Certainly his performance in the 2002 World Cup was a huge factor in our success, and I am thankful for all his efforts. I look forward to watching Brad for the remainder of his professional career, and wish him continued success."
-- U.S. Men's National Team Manager Bruce Arena