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Brad Friedel inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

Goalkeeper joins greats of the game in the USA

Thu 31 May 2018, 19:18|Tottenham Hotspur

Brad Friedel has joined the greats of American soccer by being inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

The news was revealed earlier today (31 May) to the former goalkeeper and now Head Coach of New England Revolution in the MLS by Tad Ramos, his former team-mate.

Brad, 47, will be inducted in a ceremony at the Hall of Fame weekend in Dallas on October 20-21.

Capped 82 times by the USA, Brad joined us in 2011 and had turned 44 when he retired at the end of the 2014-15 season.

He played 67 times for us in all competitions, including 50 in the Premier League and during his time at Spurs, stretched his record of consecutive appearances in the Premier League to a staggering 310. That record sequence was set between 2004-2012.

One of the best-ever soccer players to come out of the USA college system - he was at UCLA between 1990-92 - Brad enjoyed spells at Newcastle (1994), Brondby (1995), Galatasaray (1995-96), Columbus Crew (1996-97), Liverpool (1997-2000), Blackburn Rovers (2000-08) and Aston Villa (2008-11) before finishing his playing career at Spurs.

He also represented the US at three World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002) and two Olympic Games (1992, 2000) and having coached his country's Under-17s, he's now in charge of New England, currenty fifth in the MLS Eastern Conference.

I never played for anything other than the love of the game

Brad Friedel, speaking in 2015

Speaking on his playing retirement and departure from Spurs back in May, 2015, Brad told us about the secret of his longevity.

"I’d break that into different categories," he said. "I had a lot of setbacks when I was younger, so I’d say a determination to get to where I wanted to be, which as a goalkeeper was to play in England. I was turned down for work permit after work permit, so I would have to go back to the drawing board, which meant going to another club, playing games, playing internationals and getting enough caps to try again. It took me five years, so that perseverance was instilled in me.

"I was helped by my goalkeeping coach at UCLA, Tim Harris, and when Tim and Sigi Schmid (UCLA manager) saw I had a talent, they pushed me to the limit between 18 and 20. Once I came over, I never wanted to leave.

"As your body and mind get older, you grow up and do things a little differently off the field and see how you can prolong your career. I’m very fortunate to be a goalkeeper so I don’t have to cover the kilometres on the pitch, I don’t go into the collisions so the risk of injury is less. If you keep your body weight down and keep your mind intent, as has been proved by a lot of goalkeepers, you can play well into your 40s.

"When you get to 35, 36, if you don’t truly love the game, that’s when a lot of players tend to pack in. I love being around the team, around the players day to day and I love being physically fit. From 31, 32, I attribute a lot of the longevity to yoga, diet - no secrets - just looking after yourself. If you stay fit and mentally strong, you can do it."

Brad joins former Spurs James 'Jim' Brown (at Spurs 1936-37, inducted 1986) and another legendary USA goalkeeper, Kasey Keller (Spurs 2001-2004, inducted 2015) in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Friedel facts...

- Won the Hermann Trophy at UCLA in 1992, awarded to college soccer’s best player
- A record 310 consecutive appearances in the Premier League, 2004-12
- 67 appearances for Spurs, 50 in the PL, between 2011-15
- Retired from playing at Spurs, May 2015
- 82 caps for the USA over 13 years
- Played in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups
- Also played in the 1992 and 2000 Olympics