Tim Howard, the record-setting goalkeeper for the U.S. national team, was named the country’s soccer player of the year by Futbol de Primera.
Howard, who made a World Cup-record 16 saves in the U.S.’ overtime loss to Belgium in July, edged teammates Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey for the honor in a vote of journalists nationwide.
Howard was also voted U.S. Soccer’s male athlete of the year.
But that’s not the only news Howard has been making lately. In his autobiography, due out this month, Howard says U.S. teammate Brad Friedel “actively tried to block” his 2003 move from Major League Soccer to English club Manchester United. Portions of the book have been excerpted on the website ESPNFC.com.
Friedel was among a handful of Americans playing in the English Premier League at the time and Howard says in the book that the snub surprised him.
“I mean, who would sabotage his own countryman like that?” Howard asks.
Friedel denied that story Wednesday, telling EPSN’s Doug McIntyre that he never “wrote a letter of negativity toward Tim Howard.” However Friedel said he did refuse to sign a letter on Howard’s behalf because he considered it to be “full of exaggerations.”
Friedel said he made changes to the letter and set it back.
“They didn’t like what I was going to sign so they didn’t use it,” said Friedel, who added that he “was very surprised to find something of this nature in Tim’s book.”
Both players are still in the EPL, Howard with Everton and Friedel with Tottenham.