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Tim Howard retracts claim that Brad Friedel tried to block Manchester United move

Tim Howard and Brad Friedel have made nice. Kind of.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Howard accused Brad Friedel of writing a letter to the PFA trying to block him from getting a work permit that would allow him to join Manchester United in 2003. The PFA, who controls work permits, said they never received a letter and Friedel vehemently denied the accusation.

And apparently that's that.

In a statement, Howard said he is taking Friedel at his word. Kinda.

In telling the story of my move to Manchester United from MLS, I described at length a number of obstacles that potentially stood in the way of a massive career-changing opportunity. One of many such obstacles that I discuss in this context is opposition to my work permit by the PFA and, as I understood at the time, Brad Friedel.

Brad takes issue with my characterization of his position and events. At the time, I was surprised that Brad would not automatically sign my letter of recommendation, and I took this as opposition to my application. Brad later explained that he had not in fact opposed my efforts to seek a work permit, either by writing to the PFA or otherwise.

I have decided to take Brad at his work. Accordingly, I have direction my publisher to amend future copies of my book by striking reference to Brad's opposition.

You will notice that he did not apologize. He did not say that he was wrong. He did not even delve into the story in his book where he says Friedel came to his house and explained why he wouldn't support Howard's work permit, which may have been the most damning part of his accusation.

So, based on this statement, it's tough to imagine Howard and Friedel are best friends. There's even reason to believe Howard may not even believe Friedel. But right now, both sides are probably just hoping this story goes away.