Brad Friedel Reflects on His Time in English Football

Brad Friedel says that he is extremely happy that he has been accepted by English football fans as one of their own.

The American goalkeeper is one of the instantly recognisable names with regard to the last 25 years of the Premier League, as he spent the majority of his time playing for the likes of Blackburn and Aston Villa. He still holds the record for the most number of consecutive appearances, as it stands at 310. Friedel says that it was initially tough for him to convince fans in his first few years in English football, as there was a tendency to look American players as not being good enough for English football.

Over the years, only a handful of players from North America have entered into the Premier league with Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, and Brad Friedel among the best. Friedel came to English football in 1997 when he was with Liverpool. He made his debut for Liverpool in the game against Aston Villa on 1998. He lasted only three years at Anfield and ended up making a move to Blackburn, where he was once again under guidance of Graeme Souness.

Friedel made the most of his appearances in the Premier league at Blackburn. He represented the club in 287 games.

Friedel says that it is a great accomplishment that English fans were able to accept him as a great soccer player. “I think when the English people stopped viewing me as a foreigner was a pretty special moment because as a young American going over there they didn’t want to accept us as soccer players at all. The start of the European Union allowed for a lot more foreign players to go in to the Premier League,” said Friedel.“That will be a tough record to break. I can only really see agoalkeeper being able to do it,” said Friedel about his incredible record of consecutive appearances.