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6. BRAD FRIEDEL: Keeper to stay at Blackburn
by Paul Kennedy, April 16th, 2007 1:07AM



American goalkeeper Brad Friedel signed a one-year contract extension at Blackburn Rovers the day before turning in another outstanding performance against powerhouse Chelsea in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

Friedel, the longest-serving player at Blackburn, signed that extension that will keep him at Ewood Park through the 2008-09 season.

"I am delighted and it was an easy situation," he told the club's Web site. "I love being here and the fact that the club want me to stay on a little longer is great. Rovers showed great faith in me when I wasn't playing first-team football at Liverpool and I remember things like that. This has proved a tremendous move for me and I want to repay the club by giving of my services for as long as I can."

If he completes his new contract, he will become the only American-born player to have played for the same European club for nine straight years.

Friedel, 35, was outstanding in the semifinals of the FA Cup, where Blackburn fell to Chelsea, 2-1, in overtime. He made a key save on Ghanaian Michael Essien in the second half with the score tied, 1-1.

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