Former US international and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel has signed a three-year contract with Aston Villa of the English Premier League.
The 37-year old Friedel had been linked to Villa for weeks. The move went through just a day after his former club, Blackburn, signed England international Paul Robinson away from Tottenham Hotspur.
Friedel is not the only American international goalkeeper that Aston Villa have acquired this summer, however. Only a couple of weeks ago, the Birmingham-based club made a move for fellow American Brad Guzan.
So what does the move for Friedel mean for Guzan?
In many ways, it will be beneficial. Guzan will not have to be thrust into the spotlight right away. Friedel is an experienced goalkeeper in the Premiership, having turned out for Liverpool as well as Blackburn. Guzan will have the opportunity to learn from his compatriot before taking his spot as Villa's number one.
Guzan will most likely make his early appearances for Villa in cup ties. Again, this will give him some much-needed seasoning before he is thrown into the rigors of a full Premier League season.
The move also gives Villa the luxury of having two international caliber goalkeepers to choose from. Should one go down with an injury, the other will be waiting in the wings, ready to throw on the gloves. This will only help the confidence of Villa's back line as they try for UEFA Cup glory this season in addition to challenging for a European place in the EPL yet again.
Unfortunately for Guzan, he will probably be spending a lot more time on the bench than he did at Chivas USA, at least in the early part of his Villa career. He's still just a 23-year old, and would undoubtedly like to turn out frequently for Villa to not only help them, but his chances of playing in the US Men's side.
This is a move that could potentially be frustrating for the young Guzan, but in the end should turn out to be very beneficial to his development. Friedel has been a fixture between the posts at Blackburn and in his career, has turned in some great performances for both club and country.
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