DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Brad Friedel's storied career in the English Premier League will continue for at least two more years after the former USA international signed with north London club Tottenham Hotspur.
"We are delighted to announce that Brad Friedel has agreed to join the Club," Tottenham announced on their website. "The former Liverpool and Galatasaray goalkeeper has established himself as one of the Premier League's leading players in his position."
Friedel had spent the last two seasons in the West Midlands plying his trade at Aston Villa, however was able to move to the country's capital city on a free transfer after his two-year contract with the team had expired.
"Brad has signed with the club for two seasons," Tottenham press officer Simon Felstein confirmed.
The three-time World Cup veteran - twice as the Americans' first-choice keeper - made a name for himself in England during his eight seasons at Blackburn, where he was the undisputed starter for his tenure.
Perhaps his most notable achievement is a remarkable and still-ongoing run of 275 consecutive Premier League appearances, which far eclipses what any other player has managed to accomplish during the history of the league.
The 40 year-old joins a Tottenham team which already has Brazilian international Heurelho Gomes and Italian veteran Carlo Cudicini as keepers on the roster, however as both have regularly underperformed for the team, he stands to begin the season as head coach Harry Redknapp's first-choice starter.
The Tottenham coach stated through the team's website, "Brad is a top goalkeeper of real quality who has great experience. It is good to have three such experienced top goalkeepers at the Club in Gomes, Carlo and now Brad and it means we have competition for places particularly with the number of games we will hopefully face next year both domestically and in Europe as well."
After reaching the quarterfinals of the most recent Champions League, Tottenham missed out on a return trip for the 2011-12 season, finishing sixth place in the league, six points behind arch-rivals Arsenal.
Their final league standing was still enough to place them in the play-off round of the Europa League, which is set to take place over two legs beginning on August 18 with an eye towards reaching the group stage.
Aston Villa was a regular participant in the competition during Friedel's stay with the club, however he was usually rested for European games allowing his focus to remain on Premier League competition.
Tottenham will begin their Premier League campaign the weekend of August 13, and the team confirmed that pre-season preparations are set to begin in early-July.