Los Angeles Soccer: Heurelho Gomes
August, 23, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Brad Friedel finally made his debut for Tottenham, and he wasted no time answering critics who questioned how the London club could spend money to bring in a 40-year-old goalkeeper.
And he did so in a one-sided loss.
Spurs fought gamely for an hour before falling in Monday's clash with defending English Premier League champion Manchester United at Old Trafford, and their 3-0 defeat would have been far worse if not for the able hands of Friedel, an offseason transfer from Aston Villa.
Friedel made 11 stops in an often electric encounter, and he couldn't be blamed for any of the Red Devils' goals, by Danny Welback in the 61st minute, Anderson in the 76th and Wayne Rooney in the 87th.
It was the former U.S. national-teamer's record 276th successive EPL appearance, a streak that dates to 2004 and includes games at Blackburn before his three-year stint at Aston Villa. That meant little to Friedel.
“I don't count the games. I'm just bitterly disappointed with the result,” the UCLA product told Tottenham's website. “I don't play for personal accolades. I really don't. I just want to play to help the team win -- and we didn't.”
Friedel, who has been in England since 1997, is one of the EPL's most complete goalkeepers, but his age -- he's just the third player over 40 ever to play for Spurs, who were founded in 1882 -- prompted criticism when Harry Redknapp signed him to a two-year contract at the start of June.