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Tottenham's Friedel: The world is taking the US seriously now

Brad Friedel believes the football world takes the USA national team very seriously these days.

The Tottenham goalkeeper, who played more than 80 times for his country, suggests that today's US side is one that the rest of the teams around the world do not underestimate anymore.

Friedel is covering the US team at Brazil 2014 and told Sony that he feels Juergen Klinsmann's team can continue to improve on the world stage after making plenty of headway over the past two decades.

"Does the world take the US more seriously? I think yes, definitely," said Friedel.

"I think back in 1990, which was the first World Cup we qualified for in some time, I don't think they took us seriously at all.

"Nor should they have really because I think most of the players were still in University. I think the others were semi-pro and there were probably only a handful of full-time professionals in that team."

He added; "In 94, when Bora Milutinovic molded the team that got us into the second round and we lost to Brazil, I think that was probably the first time when the world started realizing the US a little bit.

"But then when us individual players came over to Europe and started carving out long-term careers in Europe, I think they started realizing that US players can play.

"We're still years away from being a world power, don't get me wrong - but we're light years ahead of where we were when I first started."

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Andrew Slevison
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