posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:31 PM
U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel retired Monday from international soccer. The 33-year-old Friedel called it quits on an international
career that spanned 13 years (1992-2004). A veteran of three World Cups, Friedel made 82 appearances and played more than 7,000 minutes for the U.S.
national team. He still intends to play in the English Premiership for Blackburn.
"I have played in three World Cups, two Olympic Games and 82 international matches," Friedel said through a written statement. "I have loved every
minute of it, but feel now is the right time to end my international career."
The extensive travel required to play both with a club and the national team contributed to the decision. Friedel is now content on concentrating his
full efforts towards helping Blackburn avoid relegation.
"I have discussed my situation with a number of other professional players whose opinions I respect and we believe that without the constant long haul
travel I will be much better equipped to play in the Premier League," he said. "As a result I have decided to retire from international soccer."
Friedel played in all five matches for the U.S. during its historic run into the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Since the conclusion of the
tournament, however, Friedel has played just once for the Americans. Kasey Keller, who has since claimed the number one spot, and Friedel battled it
out for the starting spot in 2002. Keller has now started in net during most of the team's qualifying games for the 2006 World Cup.
"Brad has been an exemplary member of the national team program," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "In addition to his goalkeeping abilities, he has
demonstrated a commitment and a professionalism over the years which has served as an example to all the players in our pool.
"Certainly his performance in the 2002 World Cup was huge factor in our success, and I am thankful for all his efforts."
The U.S. team is currently in Miami, set to travel to Trinidad and Tobago for its opening final-round match in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The
American team plays Wednesday on the road in Queen's Park Oval.