On May 14th, Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel announced that he was officially retiring from professional football. It wasn't a surprise: Friedel sat on the bench for a few games of the 2014 2015 season, but didn't get any play time, and only made one appearance for Tottenham last season. Still, Friedel's departure from the game is something that deserves attention and celebration, considering his status as one of the all-time great goalkeepers in Premier League history. Pick up a new Spurs away goalkeeper jersey 2014 2015 from Soccer Box to mark his legacy, and read on for a review of his impressive career.

Early Years

Born in 1971 in the United States (Ohio, to be exact), Friedel started his career in college (with the UCLA Bruins) before going pro with the United States Soccer Federation in 1994. He made his first visit to the English Premier League in 1994, on loan to Newcastle, but never actually got any play time. The same went for a loan stint at Denmark football club Bronby IF.

In fact, it wasn't until he was 25 that Friedel even got to play at the professional level. When he did, though, during the 1995 1996 season at Galatasaray, he did so as a starter. He then moved around a few more times-spending two seasons with Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew, and three with Liverpool FC-before he finally found his home with the Blackburn Rovers.

Blackburn Rovers

It was with Blackburn that Friedel went from an American obscurity to one of the Premier League's most reliable goalkeepers. When he joined the club for the 2000 2001 season, they were in the First Division, fighting for promotion. Brad helped them to a second place position and a promotion, and after that, the Rovers never exited the Premier League while he was playing for the football team.

Friedel played for Blackburn from 2000 to 2008, and while the team never won the Premier League or picked up many trophies, period, he made a name for himself regardless. During the 2002 2003 season, he kept clean sheets-more than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League. He didn't win the Golden Glove Award because it didn't exist yet, but he was named as the Rovers' Player of the Year, for helping the squad to secure a sixth place league finish.

Brad continued to have a notable career for years after that peak. In 2004, he actually scored a goal in a Charlton Athletic match, becoming only the second-ever Premier League goalkeeper to score against the opposing team. (The first was Aston Villa's Peter Schmeichel, in 2001.) The feat has only been repeated three times since Friedel's goal, by Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur), Tim Howard (Everton), and Asmir Begovic (Stoke City). Needless to say, it's an exclusive club.

Later Years

In addition, Brad Friedel also holds a Premier League record for most consecutive appearances. From
August 14th, 2004 to October 7th, 2012, Friedel didn't miss a single Premier League fixture. The record included eight seasons where Brad played all 38 matches-including his last four years with the Blackburn Rovers, his three years with Aston Villa, and his first season at Tottenham Hotspur.

By the time Brad Friedel was finally removed from the starting lineup in October 2012, replaced by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, he had achieved something truly remarkable. Playing in the top English division of an English sport, Friedel-an American-had shown unheard of longevity. By the time his streak ended, he was 41-long past the age when many football players are deemed "past their prime." He is a success story in the truest sense of the word.

Brad didn't don the Spurs goalkeeper jersey much after that. He only made 11 appearances in 2012 2013 Premier League matches (though his total appearance tally for the year, with cup and continental play figured in, was still 20). In 2013 2014, he only got to play in nine games overall. By the end of this year's 2014 2015 campaign, Friedel was clearly ready to get off the bench and call it a career.

Celebrate Brad Friedel's long list of remarkable accomplishments today, by picking up a new Spurs away goalkeeper jersey 2014 2015 from Soccer Box.