Harkes: Keller and Friedel are two of the best
By Chris Bergin (ussocceruk.com)
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
FORMER United States international captain John Harkes believes that his country has the best two goalkeepers in Premiership-based keepers Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller than any other national team.
The American duo were in fine form this weekend, with Tottenham's Keller unlucky to end on the losing side, after frustrating Manchester United in Spurs' 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, while Blackburn's Friedel managed to keep Leeds United's forward line at bay, including saving a second half Alan Smith penalty.
Former Sheffield Wednesday ace Harkes feels that his country are in a strong position when it comes to goalkeepers and that no country now possesses two quality goalkeepers such as Keller and Friedel.
"You look at those two goalkeepers there and I don't think there is another (national) team in this world that has two quality keepers of that level," Harkes told Planetfootball.com. "I think there maybe a superb goalkeeper as a starting keeper, but as a back-up I don't see it."
Both keepers have vast experience, and are paving the way for the next generation of US international keepers, such as New York's Tim Howard, DC United's Nick Rimando, LA's Kevin Hartman, Dallas' Matt Jordan and San Jose's Joe Cannon.
Harkes noted what the new wave of keepers in America are learning from watching Keller and Friedel in action for the US and in The Premiership.
"They are both very good, they are quality in terms of the position on the field, reading the game, being a leader at the back, and they are great shot stoppers," said Harkes.
Harkes believes that US coach Bruce Arena has a major selection problem on his hands over who he chooses to play in goal when they return to international action.
Friedel is currently the US number one, helping the States to their impressive quarter final appearance in the World Cup, but Keller is pushing him hard for a place in the side.
"I guess a coach does want a headache in that type of situation, he can always rely on either one of them," added Harkes.