In an unlikely war of words between two veteran US goalkeepers, Brad Friedel has had to deny allegations made by Tim Howard that he tried to block the current American number 1’s move to Manchester United in 2003.
Howard did move to Old Trafford but has revealed in his new autobiography – titled The Keeper – that Friedel refused to endorse his work permit application and wrote to the appeals committee to suggest he shouldn’t be granted the transfer at all.
The legal team at Manchester United told me that Brad hadn’t merely refused to sign a statement on my behalf, he had actively tried to block my transfer.
He’d written to the appeals committee suggesting that I shouldn’t be given a work permit at all.
But Friedel has refused these claims and wants an apology from the Everton goalkeeper.
The Tottenham stopper told ESPN:
It is complete garbage.
I never sabotaged and I never stood in the way of Tim Howard getting a work permit. This is ludicrous.
It said that I had been in direct competition with Tim Howard for the starting job on the USA national team for the last two years, when anyone who follows soccer knew it was between Kasey Keller and I.
Yes, I refused to sign that. We got the letter and said ‘We have to change this, because this isn’t true’. We made our changes and sent it back. They didn’t like what I was going to sign so they didn’t use it. And that was the end of the matter.
Both Friedel and Howard were involved with the USA national squad from the latter making his debut in 2002 to the former retiring from international duty in 2005.
But appears they do not get on despite that period and their comparable success as US goalkeepers playing in the English Premier League.