Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel has the vision of how the United States can become a world power in soccer and create an abundance of creative American soccer players that the national team system is lacking.
Friedel was in Baltimore recently as part of Tottenham’s Global Coaching Program, helping develop grassroots soccer across the world and encouraging youngsters to play with style, passion and flair.
“At some stage — hopefully I’m still alive there to see it — I would really like to see the sport become free of charge for kids all over the United States,” said Friedel, who sat down for an exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk.
“If we can do that, we can bring another type of [American] athlete into the soccer world. And with the type of athletes that we can produce in the United States, we can really become a world power at that time.
“I think the powers that be need to have a real strong look at why [the United States is] not developing enough players at the top level in the creative positions on the field — the strikers, the number 10’s, the holding midfielders… people right down the spine of the team.
“And I think that resonates all the way down to how you coach and teach your kids, and all the way down to the under-9 levels.”
The Tottenham Hotspur Global Coaching program that featured Friedel in Baltimore (in partnership with the Soccer Association of Columbia) is part of a larger Spurs program that partners with soccer associations across the United States, Hong Kong, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.
Friedel will report back to Tottenham Hotspur training soon in preparation for the 2013-14 Premier League season, which kicks off on the weekend of August 17-19 when Tottenham Hotspur plays Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.