American goalkeeper Brad Friedel has issued an apology and a clarification concerning comments he made this week about former U.S. World Cup teammate Landon Donovan.

“I did not mean to disparage or demean Landon Donovan or his accomplishments in any way, shape or form,” Friedel said in a statement sent to the Insider on Friday. “I was merely paying respects to Clint Dempsey for his fantastic career. I apologize if my remarks offended anyone, especially Landon. It was not my motive. I would never bash a fellow American player.”


On Tuesday, asked by BBC World Service about Dempsey’s career accomplishments with Fulham and his popularity in the English Premier League, the Spurs keeper said:

“You get a player like a Landon Donovan, who in my opinion chose to take the easy road and stay in the States. It’s much harder to ply your trade over here. [The Premier League] is the best league in the world to play in, and this is where [Dempsey] got better in my opinion. This is where he became one of the best the United States ever produced.”

He said of Donovan: “The profiling in the States sometimes is a lot more to do with sponsorships than what you actually do on the field. And listen, I’m not trying to take anything away from Landon because Landon has been absolutely magnificent for the U.S. as well. I’m just saying he gets a lot more notoriety because it’s sponsorship-driven over there.”