Brad Friedel addressed the media at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore on Friday. Among other topics the new United States U-19 manager discussed was the state of U.S. goalkeeping.
Of course it all starts with the battle at the top. "You've got Tim [Howard] and Brad [Guzan] engulfed in a competition and engulfed competitions with their club teams as well."
Friedel was referring to Tim Howard's battle with Joel Robles at Everton, which has Howard in the middle of serious transfer rumors, most notably to the Colorado Rapids in MLS. Guzan's competition at struggling Aston Villa is with English keeper Mark Bunn.
Friedel's next crop of keepers all play in MLS. "Bill Hamid, it's a shame he's got an injury because he was being called in. I thought he had a very good season at D.C. United. I thought Luis Robles warranted his call up. I thought he was very good, especially the second half of the season in MLS. And Nick Rimando, if you ever had a problem, has a very cool head and is composed."
Two other MLS keepers that Friedel did not mention are currently in camp, David Bingham of the San Jose Earthquakes and Sean Johnson from the Chicago Fire. But Friedel turned his attention internationally.
"Two keepers in Europe, one that is doing especially well, Ethan Horvath of Molde is getting a lot of playing time. Zach Steffen's at Frieburg played at the under-20 World Cup, a very good goalkeeper with a very good future ahead of him."
Friedel wanted to mention the three keepers he was calling into his U-19 camp (and a fourth he couldn't bring in) but the roster hasn't been officially announced. Perhaps the most notable omission from Friedel's list was William Yarbrough who earned two caps last year and is currently the keeper at Leon in Liga MX. But it's not as if he shared anything groundbreaking.
"The goalkeeper department is generally one of U.S. Soccer's least worries. Not saying that we don't have to stay on top of it, not saying that we don't always have to try and improve it, but I'm happy with it," said Friedel.