Souness backs Brad for USA spot

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BLACKBURN ROVERS boss Graeme Souness believes that his goalkeeper Brad Friedel should be an automatic choice as America's number one for the World Cup finals.

Friedel is battling with Tottenham's Kasey Keller to be Bruce Arena's first choice for Japan and Korea, but Souness is in no doubt his charge is the man for the job.

Souness says that Friedel will be one of the stars of The Far East and reckons he is among the best shot-stoppers in the world.

"He would certainly get into the top ten in the world and I believe he should be in the team for the World Cup," said Souness.

Souness has signed Friedel three times, for Liverpool, Galatasaray and Rovers, and knows him very well - saying that he is also well regarded in The Premiership.

"He's one of the best keepers in England and I know there are other managers who think that too. He knows that people have a high regard for him and he's very, very popular with our fans.

"Some of them doubted the wisdom of signing him but I think within three games he had shown why I was keen to bring him in with his form.

"He's athletic, agile, his concentration is good and he has a strong will to win and if he avoids serious injury he will be our keeper for a long time to come."