Sounders Insider

Sounders coach on Tottenham's Brad Friedel and USA's "Mount Rushmore of goalkeeping"

The first was related to Tottenham's visit this weekend, which got Sounders coach Sigi Schmid talking about Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, and beyond that about some of the great goalkeepers this country has produced.

"Certainly Brad, Kasey and Timmy Howard have been the Mount Rushmore of goalkeeping in the States," Schmid said. "Those three guys have all done it though a lot of hard work. I feel very honored and privileged that I was involved with all three of them in their career: Brad at UCLA and Timmy with the under-20 teams, and Kasey obviously here in Seattle – and Kasey even earlier when I was coaching the B team. I had Kasey on the B team, and as the assistant coach of the B team you worked the goalkeepers – we didn’t have a goalkeeper coach. So having all those guys, those guys are definitely a cut above some of the other goalkeepers we’ve had. It was unfortunately to a certain extent that Brad and Kasey were at the same time, because you look at it, and I think Kasey is over 100 caps, and Brad is close to it. If there had only been one of them there would be one goalkeeper with like 180 caps right now. But it was a good thing. The interesting story with Brad is that Brad was at UCLA, he was actually redshirting his freshman year for me at UCLA. And the goalkeeper who was playing at UCLA ahead of him was the college goalkeeper of the year that year – Anton Nistl – who’s very successful now and sort of had a bad thing happen on his goalkeeping thing that sort of killed his career, but he could have been another great goalkeeper. Brad was redshirting, and I got a call from Lothar Osiander -- the Olympic coach at the time. He was having a training camp down an UC-Irvine, and he said he was down a goalkeeper if I knew of anybody who could maybe come and participate in the camp. I said, ‘Well, I’ve got a guy I think is pretty good. He’s not playing for me because he’s redshirting, but I think he’s worth looking at. And he said, ‘Oh, what’s his name?” And I go, “Brad Friedel.’ And Lothar being German said, ‘Oh, I like the name.’ He got all excited, brought him down into camp, and then Brad went from there. So sometimes you’ve got to be fortunate for things to break your way, but the main thing is, when a door gets opened you’ve got to take full advantage of it. But all those guys – Brad, Kasey and Timmy Howard – like I said those are the elite of the elite when it comes to U.S. goalkeepers, and in the world as well.

On what Sounders' reserve keeper Marcus Hahnemann might have accomplished had he also played in a less-crowded era of USA goalkeeping: Marcus was a little bit different in his style, but he was such an imposing shot stopper, because he got in the way of everything. I remember when he was still at Seattle Pacific, and (thinking) ‘Who is this guy? He’s a monster.’ But again, there’s him, Juergen Sommer – who was the third goalkeeper on some of those teams -- Tony Miola and those guys. There were a lot of guys who were outstanding goalkeepers. I really think that era, that era of say 1990 through 2010, let’s say – that era, those 20 years, when you look at Miola and Hahnemann and Kasey and Brad all playing in that era and Timmy Howard starting to come along sort of at the end of that era. Those guys – goalkeeping in the States was in good hands.

On Hahnemann's current status from hamstring injury: He started walking and jogging a little bit today, so we’ll see. It’s a little bit of a hamstring, a little higher.