MLS: Friedel signs three-year deal

U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel has re-signed with MLS and the Columbus Crew for three seasons.

"We are happy to have Brad Friedel in a Columbus Crew uniform for years to come," said Columbus GM Jamey Rootes. "He helped our team to a dramatic turnaround last season and he will be one of the best players in MLS now and in the future."

Friedel, a former standout at UCLA, played the last nine games of the 1996 regular season while on loan from Galatasaray in the Turkish First Division. While manning the nets, he was 8-1 with four shutouts, and Columbus rallied to make the playoffs, where they pushed Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay to a decisive third game before falling.

"This is a huge addition for us," said Crew head coach Tom Fitzgerald. "There are several teams around the world in England, France, and other countries that would have liked to acquire a player of Brad's stature."

Friedel's 0.78 GAA was the lowest among all MLS keepers with nine or more games played last season, and he earned Player of the Month honors for September. Crew fans can look forward to more of the same this season.

"I am very excited to be back with the Columbus Crew," Friedel said. "I enjoyed the end of last season, and I'm coming back to help ensure that the Crew gets into the 1997 MLS playoffs and goes even further this season."

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