Sunday, July 07, 2002

Five Questions with Brad Friedel

        Ohio native and World Cup goal keeper Brad Friedel announced last week that he will host the Premier Soccer Academies, a series of elite soccer camps in Ohio next summer. He will team with the Columbus Crew to bring the camps to Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. He took time to answer five questions from the Enquirer's Dustin Dow earlier this week.

        Q: You must be full of tales from Japan. What kind of an experience was that?

        A: It was a great experience, no doubt about that. One of the most satisfying and frustrating things is we played a game against Germany that we thought we could have won. Not once did we think we were inferior to anybody. This year there was no lack of confidence. Everyone was focused and confident.

        Q: Did you see anything away from soccer?

        A: Yeah. We got over there on the 23rd of May, and our first match wasn't until June 5. We always had time in the afternoon to look around. There were some anticipated security problems, but there weren't any problems at all. The people there were as friendly as any people in the world.

        Q: So what did you eat?

        A: We stayed at a Marriott. The chef cooked what we asked him to cook. They did bring in some sushi, but most of the food was normal food that we were used to eating at home.

        Q: Speaking of home, now that you play professionally in England, do you still consider Ohio home?

        A: Oh, definitely. Ohio is where my roots are. My whole family is from here. I have a large soft spot for Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. The state is where I got my start. If you don't start somewhere, you can never end up somewhere.

        Q: What was the single best moment for you in the World Cup?

        A: The best feeling I had was when I found out that we had qualified for the second round. When I found out Korea beat Portugal, that was the best feeling. I know Mexico is special for bragging rights, but when Korea won was more special. I was involved in the '98 fiasco. We knew we were better than that. We wanted to prove that we could do this.


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