CARSON, Calif. -- Brad Friedel is an anachronism. Not only is he from a different time – at 41 he claims he's entering his 21st season – but he's seven years older than his coach, 34-year-old Andre Villas-Boas.
So not much fazes him, including the possibility of losing his starting goalkeeper spot at Tottenham. Carlo Cudicini started a 1-1 friendly draw with the LA Galaxy.
"I think we brought three goalkeepers out last time out; we each played a game," Friedel said. "I think that's probably the plan this time out."
He expects to man the pipes against either Liverpool or the New York Red Bulls during the Spurs' U.S. tour. In the meantime he's enjoying California's warmth.
"It's nice to see the sun," the Ohio native said through the fuzz of a British accent. "We've had terrible weather since April."
During the trip the Tottenham players have dealt a new manager for the first time. Villas-Boas replaced Harry Redknapp during the offseason. Again, Friedel has seen it all.
"Every manager's different," he said. "This is my 21st season – I've worked with a lot of managers."
So what sets the former Porto and Chelsea boss apart? Friedel repeated the words "dedication" and "professionalism" twice.
"His professionalism and dedication and energy that he's brought to training's been good," the former U.S. international said. "All the players are in really good spirits and we're really looking forward to the season."
After the match Villas-Boas talked briefly about his inexperience as a head coach. He went through the league season undefeated with Porto before moving to Chelsea, where he was fired mid-way through the season.
How does Friedel deal with a manager so much younger than him?
"A lot of people have asked me this question," the former Liverpool, Blackburn and Aston Villa goalkeeper said. "Yes, I am older than him, but he's got far more years experience as a manager. I have zero. So he's much older than me when it comes to managerial experience."
Friedel isn't the only one giving his new coach respect. Former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane gave the inside scoop on his chats with his former teammates.
"I've spoken to a lot of players in the game who have worked with him and even the guys now," Keane said. "His training sessions, his attention to detail is second to none. I'm sure he'll do a great job."
Keane made the jump to MLS with the LA Galaxy midway through the 2011 season, winning the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup. Friedel praised the arrivals of players like Keane in helping boost the league's profile the past several seasons.
"The profile and the aura of the league is coming on," Friedel, who played for the Columbus Crew in 1996 and 1997, said. "There's lots of people out there that ask me day-in and day-out, 'Can you get me a club in the MLS?' It's getting better, it's getting better."
Any chance the burly, bald American comes home to play in MLS?
"At 41 years of age, we'll see," he demurred. "I'm taking it sort of day at a time, not even season at a time right now. We'll just see how the body is in April and we'll see if I'll carry on some more or not."
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- Brad Friedel