Friedel gets US gong
By Chris Bergin (ussocceruk.com). Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
THE United States Soccer Federation has announced that Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel has been awarded Male Athlete of the Year, with DC United's Bobby Convey winning the Youth version of the honour.
Friedel emerged as the first choice keeper - above Tottenham's Kasey Keller - for the US in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup, with the Rovers stopper carrying on from his impressive showings in the Premiership to help the US reach the quarter-finals.
The former Columbus Crew keeper and 1997 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year has received glowing reviews all year from managers around the Premiership, being called "Superman" by one and the "best goalkeeper in the league" by several others, including manager Graeme Souness.
"2002 was a great year for me, but I hope to keep my feet on the ground, keep working hard and hope to have many more," said Friedel. "Over the last three years, I can't complain. I've been very happy since I came to Blackburn. I've worked hard and been very fortunate."
Convey played for both the Under-23 and the Under-20 national teams in 2002. In November, he captained the Under-20s as they qualified for a record fourth consecutive World Championship in Charleston.
In just his second full year with DC United, the 19-year-old scored five goals in the 2002 league campaign, showing maturity in what was another a season-long struggle for the three-times former MLS champions.