Tim Howard has retracted a claim in his new autobiography that said fellow U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel "actively tried to block" Howard's 2003 transfer from Major League Soccer to Manchester United.
In his book, Howard said that Friedel refused to sign a statement vouching for Howard and also tried to block his move to Old Trafford. Friedel denied the allegation and told ESPN FC he wanted Howard to apologize, and the Professional Footballers' Association later said that Friedel did not try to inhibit Howard's transfer.
On Tuesday, Howard tweeted a statement addressing the controversy:
In telling the story of my move to Manchester United from MLS, I describe at length a number of obstacles that potentially stood in the way of a massive career-changing opportunity. One of the many such obstacles that I discuss in this context is opposition to my work permit by the PSA, and, as I understood at the time, Brad Friedel.
Brad takes issue with my characterization of his position and events. At the time, I was surprised that Brad would not automatically sign my letter of recommendation, and I took this as an opposition to my application. Brad later explained that he had not in fact opposed my efforts to seek a work permit, either by writing to the PFA or otherwise.
I have decided to take Brad at his word. Accordingly, I have directed by publisher to amend future copies of my book by striking reference to Brad's opposition.
Howard's book, The Keeper, was released on Dec. 9.
Howard made 45 appearances for United before moving permanently to Everton in 2007, where he has played since. Howard was the United States' No. 1 goalkeeper in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Friedel, 43, has played professionally in England since 1997. He has suited up for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
- Stanley Kay and Molly Geary