Brad Friedel will hang up his gloves this summer with a legacy any American soccer or Premier League fan should appreaciate.
Friedel, 43, will retire from professional soccer after the 2014-15 Premier League season, Tottenham Hotspur announced on its website Thursday. The Bay Village, Ohio, native will stop playing goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur and begin working full time in America as a FOX Sports soccer analyst. He also will complete his top-level coaching certifications and serve as Tottenham’s ambassador in the United States.
“I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved in my career,” Friedel said, according to Tottenham Hotspur’s website. “When I first started the journey I never imagined it would be this long, playing 23 seasons in total and representing some incredible clubs.”
Friedel’s European career arguably is the best any American player has enjoyed to date. Friedel played for first-division clubs in Denmark, Turkey and England between 1995 and 2015. His 17-year Premier League career included stints with Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
450 - @friedel_b has made 450 Premier League appearances, more than any other American. Eagle—
(@OptaJoe) May 14, 2015
Only six players in Premier League history (since 1992) have backstopped their team to more shutouts than Friedel, and his ten penalty-kick saves are third most all-time in the current version of England’s top flight, according to Opta.
Premier League (@premierleague) May 14, 2015
Friedel holds the record for most consecutive Premier League appearances, racking up 310 between August 2004 and October 2012.
The goalkeeper also played 82 times for the United States national team. He starred at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and helped Team USA reach the quarterfinals — its best finish in a modern World Cup.
Friedel joined Tottenham in 2010 but has backed up Hugo Lloris since late 2012. Friedel hasn’t played a game for Tottenham’s first team since March, but he can become the oldest player in Premier League history if he plays in one of his team’s last two games of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SpursOfficial