Speaking to the club’s official website, Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has lavished praise upon his former teammate and mentor Brad Friedel.
Guzan, 30, arrived at Villa from Chivas USA in the summer of 2008 to serve as Friedel’s backup, before seeing his compatriot depart for Tottenham Hotspur in June 2011 after making 130 total appearances for the claret and blues.
While his first-team opportunities would continue to be limited the following season due to the signing of Shay Given, the US international eventually claimed the number one job for himself in August 2012, and has since grown into one of the Premier League’s top shot-stoppers.
In the meantime, the Chicago-native has not forgotten the role Friedel played in helping him settle into English football and, to highlight his admiration, named the veteran keeper to his ‘Dream XI’, alongside the likes of Villa legends Martin Laursen and Stiliyan Petrov.
“He helped me a lot when I first came to the country, especially in adapting to the Premier League. I was able to learn a lot from Brad,” he said.
“At the time he had that unbelievable record streak of consecutive appearances. He helped me progress as a goalkeeper by working with him day in and day out and that was beneficial to my own career.
“It was hard to leave out Shay Given, though,” he continued “You can't go wrong with either one. Shay's resume speaks for itself.
“To be in my shoes and work with both of them has been unbelievable - and that's an understatement.”
Guzan could also be set to follow in Freidel’s footsteps with the US national team moving forward, having finally got the chance to claim the first-choice job in the wake of Tim Howard’s 12-month international sabbatical.
The former MLS star has earned just 28 caps since his 2006 debut, compared to Friedel’s 82, but that number is no doubt set to rise over the coming years.