BALTIMORE -- How many years does Tottenham's Brad Friedel have left?
The evergreen former United States international is entering his 21st preseason as a professional soccer player and admits that he is unsure about his future after the upcoming season.
"How much more do I got? Let's get through this [season] first," the 41-year-old said. "I have a year left on my contract and at my age, it really does go year to year."
"We'll see how things progress and at that point, I'll make a decision on my future," he added. "If I couldn't do it anymore at the highest level, then I wouldn't want to play. I wouldn't sign a contract."
If there is one thing that Friedel is certain about, it's that he will only continue to play if Premier League teams are interested. The goalkeeper hinted to Goal.com that he wouldn't consider a move to play in Major League Soccer.
"It's getting harder and harder to consider [MLS] because of my age," Friedel told Goal.com I've been really fortunate to have these opportunities in the Premier League with big clubs. It's always superseded any negotiations that I've started with MLS.
"I think MLS is a great place compared to what it was and it's a tremendous asset to the country. It's going to keep on getting bigger and bigger but being a part of it as a player, time's against it. Let's put it that way."
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Friedel's future could be determined by his new head coach Andre Villas-Boas. Tottenham is said to be pursuing Lyon's Hugo Lloris, a move that would likely see Friedel forced into a backup role. While those rumors continue to persist, Friedel has seemingly bought into the Villas-Boas approach and doesn't appear to be annoyed or threatened by the possibility of being the No. 2 keeper.
While his playing days approach an end, Friedel continues to be very interested in the future of soccer in the United States.
The former Liverpool player lauded Michael Bradley's move to Roma as one that's important to the national team and also declared that Clint Dempsey deserves a big move after his past season. He believes that the U.S. needs to have more field players on top clubs.
As for the future of the Stars and Stripes' goalkeeper position, Friedel likes what he sees in young keepers Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire and Bill Hamid of D.C. United.
"Yeah, I'd love to be in a training camp with them. I've only been able to see highlights of games," said Friedel. "One of my friends coaches one of them in Ben Olsen. So I hear really good things about Bill Hamid."
He continued to explain: "One thing is for sure, we're always able to produce good goalkeepers. The athleticism that those two seem to possess, should put them in good stead for their careers. Hopefully, they keep on progressing and keep on getting games in and do well."
Friedel remembers when a young Tim Howard was coming along, how he, Kasey Keller and Tony Meola all had a hand in his development. Friedel is certain that Howard is being a good mentor to both young players.
"Timmy now is a really experienced goalkeeper with a tremendous career that is still in its peak at the age of 33," Friedel explained. "He'll be an invaluable part of these goalkeepers' development when they do get called into camps with them.
"He's a really good guy and I know Timmy will pass on a lot of what he's learned over the year. These guys hopefully will have an open mind and listen to it."
- Brad Friedel