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Friedel ends U.S. international career


CORAL GABLES, Florida, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel announced his retirement from international soccer on Monday.
'After a great deal of thought, consideration and discussion I have decided that now is the right time to bring to a close my time representing the U.S.,' Friedel said in a statement from England.


'I have loved every minute of it, but feel now is the right time to end my international career,' he added in the statement made public as the U.S. team prepared for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain.

'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.'

The 33-year-old was a member of the United States squad in the last three World Cup tournaments. He won 82 caps in an international career that began in 1992.

Friedel's last appearance for the U.S. came in a 1-0 friendly victory away to Poland in March 2004 -- the first victory for the Americans in Europe since 1998.

'He feels he has done all he wants to do on the international level,' U.S. coach Bruce Arena told reporters after a U.S. squad training session.

'He wants to spend more time with his family and wants to focus on his career (at Blackburn).'

Friedel has made 162 league appearances for Blackburn and scored one goal since joining them from Liverpool in 2000.

Arena said he was not surprised by Friedel's decision.

'I've known about it for a while,' he said. 'We talked about it last year, I told him to take some time and think about it.'

He and Kasey Keller, who left Tottenham Hotspur for Borussia Moenchengladbach last month, have shared the number one place on the U.S. team since 1995.

It was Friedel who backboned the Americans' surprise run to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup where the U.S. lost to eventual runners-up Germany.

Some of Arena's fondest memories of Friedel came at that tournament in Asia.

'I remember him stopping a lot of things,' he said, 'including a couple of penalty kicks in the World Cup. He's had a pretty complete career and he feels it's time (to retire) and he is comfortable with it.'

Friedel began his professional career with Galatasaray under coach Graeme Souness in 1995 before moving to Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew for the 1996 and 1997 seasons.

He was transferred to Liverpool in late 1997, but did not hold a first team place for any extended period of time.


It's weird that's this thread wasn't started before..
Too bad he was going to Germany, according to some of you.. :D

Great goalie but i think he called it quits at the right time, he had a good run and leaves the fans with only good memories..
 

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F him :frustrat:
 

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Cheers to you, Mr. Friedel. Thanks for a wonderful career in the goal for the U.S.A. Without you we wouldn't have gotten near as far in the World Cup, and with it all the good things that were brought to American soccer with it. Thank you for that, and thank you for knowing when to retire.

A true hero :proud:
 

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This was a headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I live about 15minutes away from where Friedel grew up.

He's going to found a resedential soccer accademy in Northeast Ohio very soon.
 

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he was great in the last world cup. good to retire from int'l at this time..
 

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I read this in the paper today. He really is our top goalie well was
 

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So I suppose it's Keller in 2006 then? Alright, pending qualification...but we all know they will.

Unless Howard regains his job/confidence by then...think either of them will measure up to Friedel's 2002 performance though? That was some quality stuff...
 

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Yes, but you have to figure Friedel would have been competing for the spot, given his past performances for the team, and his consistent form for Blackburn. I'm perfectly okay with Keller in goal--he was solid against Trinidad--it's just sad to see our World Cup hero go.
 
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