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Social Spurs - Brad Q&A special

Posted on 5 July 2014  - 18:30

With July 4 celebrations taking place in the USA, Brad stopped by on the players' first day back at training to take fans' questions on Facebook.

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The American goalkeeper had his say on everything from the most memorable moment in his career and his inspiration to which position he would have played if he wasn’t in goal and the growth of the game across the pond.

Jack Kerr: What is the best goal you have ever conceded?

Brad: "No goal is ever good to concede! If I had to pick one it would be Alan Thompson against me in 1997/98 when I was at Liverpool at the Kop end. It was a left-footed strike up to my left-hand corner, it was unstoppable. It was, to this day, one of the most powerful strikes taken against me."

Ronnie Bird: If you could play in a different position, what would it be?

"Probably the holding midfield role so I didn’t have to run too much but so that the play was always in front of me. Playing with my back to goal was never my thing!"

Darren Reid: What's your most memorable moment in football? And if you could have your career again would you change anything?

"Most memorable moment was probably the run in the 2002 World Cup when we made it to the quarter-finals. The four-year process of qualifying and then culminating in the quarter-final run was special. It was a very proud moment for all of us involved. No, I wouldn’t change anything."

Ash Goodin: What's your inspiration?

"When I was younger it was the fear of not being able to play any more. Growing up I never had a professional league to look up to in the US so I had to fight tooth and nail. I was always living with the fear that if I didn’t make it in Europe I wouldn’t be able to play."

Misty Brown: What was the hardest part of learning to become a keeper, and what made it so difficult?

"The hardest part is actually very simple. Never think you’re as good as people think you are and never think you’re as bad as people think you are. Know in your own mind that you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to have great games. Stay as even keeled as possible because if you go too high or too low with the emotions this game will bring you back down to earth very quickly."

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Androulla Loizou: My 7-year-old son Roq would like to know who's your favourite goalkeeper?

"I’d probably have to say when I was growing up the two goalkeepers that were always on my TV screen were Ray Clemence or Jean-Marie Pfaff. Jean-Marie Pffaf and I are completely different goalkeepers. Ray was a lot more to my style so those two were a big influence on my career for different reasons."

Geoff Woodard: What would be your vocation of choice? Also, coming from a then footballing hinterland how did you manage to maintain your focus, belief and positivity?

"Architect. When I went to school I was a history and urban planning major. At UCLA they didn’t have a four-year course in architecture so you needed to have a degree in something else to go into their post-grad programme.

"I never really thought about being a pro because there was no league. I didn’t think about playing professionally until I went to university. Even though we were student athletes our coach was giving us the confidence that if we were good enough then we could be professionals. It was 1990 when I started to think that I could possibly do this. It was very difficult for the first years when you come over. There were many times when I thought my career would end before it started but it worked out in the end."

Rick Deans: My 7-year-old son oliver has improved this season as a goalkeeper but is hesitant at diving after hurting himself. What advice or encouragement would you give and has this happened to you?

"Diving will only hurt if you’re doing it wrong. What I would suggest would be to go to some courses to learn how to dive correctly and then as you do the repetitions you will find out it doesn’t hurt. If you dive incorrectly and you’re landing on your rib cage or elbows and shoulders then you will injure yourself. Learn the techniques and then you’ll find it doesn’t hurt at all."

Rally Soong: What's the best position to stand when defending against an in-curving long shot? Say a right footer shooting from the left side of the field? I been coaching goalies in high school and this question always comes up....

"It’s difficult to answer without seeing the situation. If you have a defender in the line then you can anticipate to go a little off centre because the defender will block it. Don’t go too far from the centre of the goal but it would be easier to."

Brett Duce: How has game preparation for a goalkeeper changed between now and say, 15 years ago?

"Not too much. I think you get in a routine on your own. For me, it has changed a little because I used to have to go through certain routines to help me think that I’d play well. Now, warmups are about my body feeling good, seeing what the weather is like and getting a feel of the ball. The actual preparing for the game for a goalkeeper hasn’t changed too much over the years."

Thomas Gillespie: How far has football in America come since you were starting out?

"Massive amount. I never had a pro league when I was growing whereas now there are 19 teams in the MLS with a few more on the way. The fans themselves are becoming more educated, the amount of people watching world events and the MLS are going up. We still have a long way to go. We have to produce better coaches at the grassroots level so we can educate more players at a younger age but it’s all going in the right direction."

Jordan McKinney: What is your family tradition for celebrating in the Fourth of July?

"Normally I would be in America but today is the first day of pre-season so I’m here at the training centre! I would usually go back to Cleveland in Ohio there’s a little fair in our town and we’d spend the morning and afternoon at the fair then go home and get the kids ready and go and watch the fireworks. It’s all about the family and it’s very festive."

Mallory Ross: Hi, Brad! Besides family and friends, what do you miss most from America? Good luck this season!

"The only thing I really miss is family and friends! Every country has so many great things to offer, you just have to open your eyes and realise it. I love the US but I also love living here in London. Family and friends is the only thing I really, truly miss."