I am Brad Friedel, an American goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur in the UK. I currently hold the Premier League record for the most consecutive match appearances (310).

I'm visiting Under Armour headquarters today to help plan some local clinics and camps. We have an hour between meetings so AMA!

*** EDIT ***

Thank you very much for having me. Sorry I couldn't answer everyone's questions - I have to go do a clinic on behalf of Under Armour and Tottenham so I need to run.

Comments: 1743 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

GeorgiaBulldogs1440 karma

Brad, will an American goalkeeper with a full head of hair ever start again for the national team?

BradFriedel1499 karma


Original question: "Brad, will an American goalkeeper with a full head of hair ever start again for the national team?" Original answer: "No. lol"

MrSpurrier339 karma

Hi Brad,

Which stadium has the best atmosphere that you've played in? Does this have any effect on the way you or the team plays?

Which player have you really been in awe of, playing with or against?

Do you have any plans on taking up managing or coaching when you feel it's time to hang up the boots?

BradFriedel541 karma

When I played for Galatasaray and we played Fenerbahce at home, that is by far the craziest atmosphere I have ever played in. For me, the louder and crazier the atmosphere, the better it is to play in.

I've never been in awe of a player, however I've been fortunate enough to play with and against some of the best players of all time. So people know, yes Gareth Bale is in the top 7.

Yes, I'm currently taking my UEFA A license and I hope to complete this in one year's time. And, if successful, I will then move on to my pro license and at that time I will make a decision on what I want to do in regards to coaching/managing. I want to learn as much as I can before I jump into that arena.

Toffeefan320 karma

Hi Brad, if you are the substitute goalkeeper for your team, and the first choice keeper makes a mistake that leads to a goal, what emotions do you go through? Do you resent the fact that you were not first choice?

BradFriedel719 karma

When I was younger, I always wanted to be the #1 GK, I can't lie - I would never be that upset if the GK playing besides myself made a mistake. However, I would have never had wanted the team to lose. That is just human nature. However, at Tottenham, and at 42 years of age, I definitely do not have these feelings and I always want Hugo/Tottenham to do very well.

Chipsticks273 karma

Hey Brad, thanks a lot for doing this! Always wanted to see a footballer on here :)

As a huge Aston Villa fan, I have stood on the Holte right behind your back and sung your name, and I've got a few questions relating to Villa:

  • What was Martin O'Neill like to work with? I've heard he could be a bit dictatorial and unpopular due to playing favourites, but also that he is an inspiration.

  • What is your opinion on Brad Guzan? Initially signed as your understudy, what was he like to be around, and did you work closely with him? Did you feel guilty taking his spot in goal for the Carling Cup Final in 2010 that he had arguably earned?

  • Did you enjoy your time at Villa overall? We loved you while you were here and still hold you in high regard

BradFriedel289 karma

I really enjoyed playing for Martin O'Neill. He has one of the best characteristics that is needed to be a manager, and that is thoughts are his own and no one can change his mind on them. He was a leader and he was very good to work for. You always knew where you stood.

Brad Guzan is an outstanding goalkeeper. The US and Aston Villa should be very happy to have him. When Tim Howard decides to retire, in my opinion, the US can easily count on Brad Guzan to continue with the great work that Tim has provided for the US team for the past few years. Also, I think Aston Villa will get equally as good service from Brad for as long as Brad can keep himself fit. He is an exceptional professional and a great teammate.

I really enjoyed my time at Aston Villa. Randy Lerner is an exceptional owner and he has Villa in his heart and the club is run the right way. I know the last two seasons haven't gone according to what a lot of the supporters expect, however knowing the ownership group they will get it right. And I hold Villa in high regard as well.

Mr_Jpg244 karma

Hey Brad, I'm a Tottenham fan and I can't thank you enough for what you did for us. You had some outstanding games, but two that stick out for me are the win against United (considering you pulled off one hell of a game) and against every team in Europe just for this.

What's been your favourite moment playing Football/Soccer so far?

BradFriedel369 karma

I always hope my favorite moment will be around the corner. However, our run with the US National team in the 2002 World Cup always stands out as special in my mind.

xMGMT190 karma

1) From your experience, who has the hardest shot to stop in the Premier League?

2) Who's the biggest joker in the Spurs dressing room?

Thanks for the AMA!

BradFriedel276 karma

  1. I'll go with players that are currently playing, and I would have to say it's a toss-up between two of our Tottenham players: Jermain DeFoe and Gareth Bale.

  2. Tom Huddlestone.

lakupiippu107 karma

If 2 isn't Assou-Ekotto then I'm shocked...

BradFriedel313 karma

Sorry to shock you.


Hi Brad, thanks for your unbelievable performance during the 2002 World Cup.

(1) How great was Dos a Cero and what was the celebration like in the locker room?

(2) When you made the penalty save in the South Korea match against Lee Eul-Yong, did you already know what he was going to do with his shot?

BradFriedel298 karma

  1. The 2-0 against Mexico I think will go down as one of the greatest results in US history because it was against Mexico on neutral soil. They always claim the only place we could beat them was the US and we proved them wrong.

  2. No, I didn't detect what he was going to do until the last steps of his run-up and the way that he shaped his body. But there's also an element of luck when saving a penalty.

turson172 karma

Hey Brad, I just wanted to say that I am an American, long time Spurs fan and I think you're an awesome person and what you have done for the club has been amazing. I have a few questions for you...

  1. What are your teammates like and who are you closest with?

  2. What is it like being older than the head coach?

  3. How much do you know about the Bale - Real Madrid possible transfer ahead and how is he dealing with the pressure that Madrid is putting on him?

  4. Would you ever consider playing in the MLS?

BradFriedel363 karma

  1. The teammates at Tottenham are a really good group of guys and we all have a good relationship with each other. There are no real cliques at the club, which you have probably noticed by the camaraderie we have shown on the pitch. My closest friends on the team are generally the older ones lol but, I get along with everybody.

  2. In life, yes I am older than AVB. However, in management, he is far more experienced than me. We have a very good relationship and I respect him very much as manager.

  3. I know Gareth very well and I know he's been playing a lot of golf this off-season. Regarding a possible transfer - I know nothing about this and have not spoken to him about it. And I, like every Spurs supporter and every member of Spurs staff, hope he stays for many, many years at Tottenham.

  4. I always thought that I would probably finish my career in the MLS, however I kept getting contract offers with fantastic clubs later in my career and now I find myself at a very big club in Tottenham at the age of 42. I think time is probably against me now to finish as a player in the MLS, however that is not to say that I won't come back to the MLS at some stage in my career in some capacity.

SirHiss141 karma

Howdy Brad thanks for the AMA! I'm just curious about how much talking (trash or otherwise) is going on during a professional match?
Like when you are setting up to defend a free kick are the opposing players trying to get in your head?

BradFriedel311 karma

Some goes on from time to time. In England, it's generally what we call "friendly banter" rather than actual "trash talking."

JohnnyMcCool108 karma

French here - how is your relationship with Hugo Lloris?

BradFriedel172 karma

My relationship with Hugo is very good. He's a really nice guy and a really hard worker and we get along with one another very well. Hopefully he can enjoy a very long and successful stay with Tottenham.

atlwantsmls106 karma

Hey Brad! I am chair of ATL Spurs: The official Tottenham Supporters Club in Atlanta. We already have over 100 Spurs fans coming out to watch parties and events. If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, please, please, please let us know!

I was at the game against Aston Villa where Hugo started and your record streak ended. How long before the game did you know that would be the end of the streak and what were your feelings? How you handled the situation spoke volumes about your character and professionalism.

BradFriedel205 karma

I was told the day before at the training ground. It was one of those times in my career that I had to put the team before myself and I did that and we all move on.

apotre102 karma

Hi Brad, thank you for the AMA.

What was your experience in Turkey like, as you were the first American player to play in the Turkish League?

You were part of the team when Souness planted a Galatasaray flag at Fenerbahce's ground after the iconic 1996 Turkish Cup win, we still remember you fondly as Galatasaray fans.

Edit: If you'd like to join the reddit Galatasaray crowd we are located at /r/galatasaray.

BradFriedel202 karma

It was the best year and a half of my professional life and personal life that I could have wished for. I was raised in a small town outside of Cleveland, Ohio and moved to UCLA when I was 18 and I didn't really learn about other cultures until I moved to Istanbul. I made some great friends in Turkey that I still stay in touch with today and I consider that time in my life the biggest growing experience for myself as a person.

Yes, I played in that game when we won the Turkish cup. We had to stay in our locker room for 3 hours after that game. The windows in our bus got hit out with stones and beer bottles... but it was one exciting day.

CalumArcadia101 karma

Hey Brad! Do you think the MLS should switch to a more typical type of youth development, rather than using drafts? Also, has anybody ever told you that you look like The Thing from Fantastic Four when you get angry?

BradFriedel247 karma

I don't have enough time or space on Reddit to get into what I think about youth development in the MLS. I think that we have made great strides, however, there is still a lot of work to be done.

As far as looking like The Thing? I've had a few lookalikes during my career, none very complimentary. However, we can only deal with what God gave us. lol

tankosaurus76 karma

What's Harry Redknapp like on a personal level?

Did you get on with him?

BradFriedel123 karma

He's a really nice guy. I've known him for many years as I've played with his son Jamie at Liverpool for three years. I got on very well with Harry and I wish him a quick return to the Premier League with QPR.

GregRobertson73 karma

How do you feel about the MLS? Could you see yourself retiring with a club there?


BradFriedel136 karma

As an American, I'm very proud to see the product that the MLS is now providing for the players and the fans. When I was growing up, there was no professional league and to now see that the 20th team included in the league, it is a major achievement.

rokuthirteen70 karma

Making a separate thread for a more silly question than my other.

How often does someone comment on your "Atlantic" accent?

BradFriedel178 karma

At least once a week. It is not something that I have tried to get nor is it something the English think I have. In England, they think I sound American. In America, they think I sound English. I can only hope that when/if I move back to the States, my old Cleveland, Ohio accent returns.

BrokenClockwerk68 karma

Hey Brad,

I was wondering what your opinion of “gamesmanship” is. I watch a lot of soccer, both Premier League and MLS, and occasionally see players dive, embellish contact, or commit minor fouls when the referee isn’t looking in an attempt to gain an advantage. In your opinion, is this just a part of the game, however frustrating, (much like the wall creeping up during a free kick, or a throw-in taker taking a few extra steps) or do you consider it cheating?

In a semi-related question, how do you feel about media involvement with the sport in England? In the past few years, there have been high-profile events with Luis Suarez, John Terry, and others, in addition to media hounding of some players (Ashley Young, Suarez, Gareth Bale, etc) for things like perceived simulation or gamesmanship. Do you think the media creates more problems than it solves in this respect, and do you feel like certain players or managers are treated less fairly than others in the media’s eye?

Thanks for your time.

BradFriedel151 karma

I am definitely not an advocate of diving and embellishing fouls, however it is part of the game and it's something you have to accept and, over the course of a season, it usually evens itself out on the calls for/against you.

As far as the media involvement with the sport in England, one of the reasons that soccer is as big as it is is because of the media. Whether you like/don't like what's written is irrelevant because it all adds to the popularity of the game.

jonnylips60 karma

Hi Brad, thank you for the AMA.

Who do you think is the best keeper in the world currently?

What do you regard as your most important save ever?

As an American, what’s it like playing in the Premier League for a big club like Tottenham Hotspur?

What does it take to play 310 Premier League games in a row?

Its not only the injuries, in the modern game its the automatic red card which keepers usually get when they concede fouls - how did you manage to avoid getting sent off during the 310 streak?

BradFriedel158 karma

  1. Manuel Neuer is probably my choice right now. However, this changes often because there's always competition for places.

  2. Probably the penalty save vs South Korea in the 2002 World Cup.

  3. It's a great honor to represent such a great club like Tottenham Hotspur.

  4. Luck, hard work, good diet, lots of yoga, and intelligent managers lol

  5. I did get sent off once, however the referee made a mistake and I had the red card rescinded.

DarryLavid57 karma

Hi Brad, brilliant keeper for us at Villa and thank god we had another Brad to help us when you left!

My question is what was your most memorable save or moment in your playing career? and what is your opinion on the situation at Blackburn Rovers at the moment with the Venkys?

BradFriedel94 karma

You can look at my answers on my most memorable save. As far as Blackburn Rovers is concerned, it does not seem like the club that I played for. When I was at Blackburn, John Williams, Tom Finn, Martin Goodman, Andrew Pincher, etc. ran that club impeccably well and on a small budget. The fans were great from the day I walked in the door to the day I left and I have nothing but admiration for the club that I knew. It has saddened me to see what has transpired there over the past couple years and I sincerely hope that things get turned around quickly for all associated with Blackburn Rovers.

TheBishop748 karma

Hey Brad

I have been a season ticket holder with the Columbus Crew since day one (I was six at the time, so really my parents were.) You were my favorite player the day you replaced Bo Oshoniyi. Even after you left for bigger and better things, I kept track of you at Liverpool, Blackburn, Villa, and now Tottenham, becoming a fan of each team just because you were there. Your work with the USMNT have left me with some of my favorite memories, particularly your two PK saves in the 2002 World Cup that I stayed up with my dad until stupid early hours of the morning to watch.

You inspired me to become a goalkeeper as well. I became the captain of my high school team and helped them reach the Ohio state quarterfinals, something that had never been accomplished by a team at my school before. After I graduated, I helped out as the team’s keeper coach. Not quite what you have achieved, but I’m still proud of it and your inspiration deserves a lot of credit.

So now to my questions:

  • I have told you that you were my inspiration to become a goalkeeper. Did any other goalkeepers inspire you over the years?

  • Similar question to the last; who is the best keeper of all-time? (Excluding yourself of course)

  • Which young (under 25) keeper do you think will be the next to become the consistent starter for the USMNT?

  • There have been some rumors in the last couple years that you would like to come back to the Crew in some capacity. Is this true? Please?

  • You threw a glove into the stands while playing at Crew Stadium with the USMNT a few years back. My sister caught it. She knows you’ve always been my favorite player so she rubs it in my face. Got a pair of gloves lying around that you’d want to send to me so I can return the favor?

BradFriedel57 karma

  1. Yes - when I was growing up, there wasn't a lot of soccer on TV but Liverpool and Bayern Munich were so I grew up watching Bruce Grobbelaar, Ray Clemence, and Jean-Marie Pfaff.

  2. Too difficult to put one. You'd have to add Peter Schmeichel, David Seaman, Lev Yashin, etc etc etc

  3. I really think once Tim Howard hangs up the gloves with the US team that Brad Guzan will take over so I'm not sure which under 25 would get an opportunity right now, but that is only my opinion.

  4. Rumors, rumors, rumors. I don't really know how some of these rumors start, however, I have always kept in close contact with Mark McCullers and I get along very well with everyone at The Crew and I wish them all the success in the world.

esssential43 karma

Hey Brad!

would you mind running us through the stretching/warmup routine that has allowed you to play so many consecutive matches?

What have you noticed are the most major changes that have occured within the top flight in the last ~20 years?

Do you nerd out about gloves/boots, or do you just use whatever your sponsors hand you?

Cheers, mate!

BradFriedel76 karma

  1. It is a four letter word called yoga.

  2. Pace of the game and the athleticism of the players.

  3. I'm not sure if I "nerd" about them, however they are an important tool in my line of work. I have recently signed a contract with Under Armour, who are the club sponsor at Tottenham, and I have seen up close now what goes in to all the product at a company such as this. This is a company that the soccer world needs to take serious notice in.

softlikejelly26 karma

Hey Brad, thanks for the AMA!

As an Aston Villa fan i would just really like to thank you for your services and you are a fantastic keeper. I was wondering if you have any tips for me to really improve for goalkeeping. I normally play 5 a side football but like to play all types. Again, thanks for the AMA :)

BradFriedel51 karma

As I don't know your age or your physical make-up, it is very difficult for me to give you advice on how to become a better goalkeeper. However, what I will say, if you enjoy playing, then keep doing it. As I can tell you from experience, playing is the best form of enjoyment.

monkeyjumpers23 karma

Hi Brad, For a while people were saying Hugo Lloris should be keeping for Spurs. Did they keep you on to get a clean 310 streak or was it just a matter of Lloris settling in? I know Bartez wasn't happy about it. You did well in my fantasy football team btw. Even if you don't know how to save Penos. We all still enjoyed you playing!!! Thanks for doing this AMA!!! Big fan.

BradFriedel67 karma

When Hugo signed, I was playing in the team because I was playing well, it had nothing to do with my streak of 310 consecutive games. I'm very proud of the 310 consecutive games, however, no manager would have played any player just due to a record if they didn't think they could get results for the team. Hugo is an exceptional goalkeeper and he was bought at 25 years of age because of his talent and the fact that he could potentially be the goalkeeper for Tottenham for the next 10 or so years if he keeps himself fit and I personally hope that he is very successful with us.

I don't want to go into the Barthez comments again. I said what I needed to say and I stand by my words.