Brad Friedel, the pioneer of American soccer players moving overseas to pick up foreign accents, has announced that he will retire at the end of the Premier League season. The 43-year-old goalkeeper will walk away from the game after after gathering some impressive stamps on his soccer passport, with stints at Galatasaray, English giants like Liverpool and Tottenham (his current club), and American galacticos the Columbus Crew.
Friedel also made 82 appearances for the U.S. national team, dating back to 1992. Historians debate this mark, as there is no conclusive evidence that soccer existed in the United States before the 1994 World Cup. In this regard, Brad Friedel is truly a relic of the Dark Ages. Friedel is so old that he broke the 80-year-old record for oldest player to appear in a game for Tottenham three years ago. At this point, his career was an affront to God and the space-time continuum.
“When I was a boy growing up in Bay Village, near Cleveland, Ohio, I played every sport I could. I loved the competition, the physical challenge and mastering skills. When soccer became my main sport there was no professional league to speak of in the U.S. and it was hard to dream of a career in the game. Now, reflecting on an adventure that started when I joined UCLA in 1989, and ends in the next few weeks with Tottenham, it all seems very surreal.
I have had highs and lows, ups and downs, met some incredible people, learned more than just how to keep goal, traveled to places all over the globe, and played against world’s best. During that time I have had the privilege of representing some of the greatest football clubs in the world, and experienced the passion of fans who I have felt were behind me in saving every shot or catching every cross.”
Here’s a bunch of stats about him.
Let’s celebrate ol’ Brad’s career achievements by re-watching this video of him reading mean tweets about his accent and general physical appearance.