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Brad and Steffen on USA vs Germany

Posted by Tottenham Hotspur on 25 June 2014  - 19:42

Brad Friedel and Steffen Freund have differing international allegiances in football – but they’ll both be keen observers when the USA meet Germany at the World Cup on Thursday.

Steffen and Brad at White Hart LaneBrad in action for USA at the 2002 World CupSteffen in action for Germany during his playing days

With their respective nations level on four points in the top two places in Group G, a point for either side at Arena Pernambuco in Recife would be sufficient to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

But with Germany currently occupying first place on goal difference, Brad – who played for USA at the 1998 and 2002 tournaments – thinks his home country may prioritise all three points in a bid to top the group.

“I do believe there’s a big difference in qualifying in first rather than second,” our goalkeeper said. “I think if we finish second we’d probably have to play Belgium, so although it will be a huge task in beating Germany, I think we might go for it so we have a more favourable draw in the next round.”

Steffen, our former midfielder and current coach, also went to the 1998 World Cup, where he was joined in the Germany squad by Spurs legend Jurgen Klinsmann – the current USA Head Coach who finds himself in the strange predicament of managing against his home country in Thursday’s 5pm kick-off.

And while Steffen will no doubt be keen to see Germany hold onto top spot in the group, he admits the sight of his friend and compatriot in the opposing dugout will be a peculiar one.

“I know both coaches so it will be interesting,” he said. “I played with Jurgen Klinsmann and I also know the Germany coach, Joachim Low, who was Jurgen’s assistant when he was previously in charge of Germany. It’s a massive game for everyone.”