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Brad Friedel Comments on His Retirement From International Soccer


On why he decided to retire now…
“Three reasons. One is family. I have a 16-month-old daughter and we’re planning on having a second child, and I would like to spend my time away from my club with my family. Second reason is based on prolonging my club career because I’ve picked up a couple of, albeit slight, muscular injuries recently and my time off I use to rejuvenate my body. And the third reason is to open up this soccer academy.”

On how injuries had affected him playing with the MNT…
“When I was traveling around I was feeling worn down. I haven’t felt worn down in quite some time and think a lot of that is attributed to the fact that I’m not flying around everywhere and playing in high-level competitive games. Knock on wood, I’m quite happy with my form and fitness over the last year or so.”

On what he’ll miss the most…
“The same thing I’ll miss when the day has to come that I retire from soccer, which will be the day-to-day action with all the players. That’s what I’ll miss the most. Obviously, it’s the biggest honor to play for your country, all things of that nature I’ll miss. But I’ll also enjoy the next chapter in my life in soccer that I’m going to be opening.”

On how long he wants to play club soccer…
“I want to play club soccer until my body won’t go anymore. I’ve got 18 months left on my contract with Blackburn and I hope to start negotiating to renew that a bit longer and then I’ll play until I can’t play any longer.”

On whether or not he would miss being at the World Cup…
“If we are in it, then it won’t be hard because I’ll have a few friends and I’ll be one of the biggest supporters while the games are going on. I’ll answer that question when the time comes. I’ve given this a tremendous amount of thought and I don’t think I will. I think I’ve made the right decision. I’ve made a decision with family and with the advice of some doctors and fitness people, and I’m very, very confident I’ve made the right decision.”

On when he told head coach Bruce Arena that he was retiring…
“I told him about eight to 12 weeks ago and I promised him I would go back and think long and hard about it. I took about eight to 10 weeks, then I made my decision and that’s when I told him. He tried to talk me out of it again, but at the end we had a very good conversation and he respects my decision.”

On if the success he and the U.S. MNT had in 2002 made the decision easier for him…
“Yes, very much so. After the ’98 World Cup I think the world saw us again as a third-world footballing nation and after the 2002 World Cup they didn’t. You can see all the talented players going to a lot of very, very good clubs, which once again is a great attribute to how we performed in that World Cup.”

Click here for Friedel's statement on his retirement and remarks from U.S. Soccer President Bob Contigulia and U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena.

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