The drama between American goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Friedel is growing, as the Tottenham keeper is reportedly enraged by the comments in Howard’s upcoming book, “The Keeper”.
Howard claims that Friedel tried to block his 2003 transfer to Manchester United by not supporting his work permit claims, and Friedel says the tale badly distorts the truth. The elder keeper, then with Blackburn, says he simply wouldn’t sign a letter that contained misinformation, opting to send back an altered version to then-US coach Bruce Arena.
[ ENGLAND: PFA comments on Friedel/Howard case ]
Clearly, these are two quite different stories. To Friedel, from the BBC:
Friedel, though, has denied the allegation and is demanding an apology from the current US number one.
“It is complete garbage,” the 43-year-old Tottenham keeper told ESPN.“I never sabotaged and I never stood in the way of Tim Howard getting a work permit. This is ludicrous.”
Friedel says he was asked to sign a letter of support by then US coach Bruce Arena, but did not because he felt it was inaccurate.
“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,” he added. “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.”
What is with US goalkeepers and their memoirs (Cough, Hope Solo)?
We kid, as making any equivalency between the oft-controversial USWNT keeper and Tim Howard is a massive reach. That’s part of the rub here, as Howard and Friedel are both very much respected players and personalities. Both are US Soccer heroes, who have successfully made the transition to the Premier League and even emerged as broadcasters.
It’ll take a third party — Arena?? — to help this matter through the court of public opinion, which must be extra painful for the Galaxy coach given his tiny task of winning an MLS Cup final this weekend. Furthermore, it’d be nice to know if the letter was indeed that misleading, and whether or not that’s unusual for recommendations given how stingy Britain is about letting foreign players into town.