Gold Cup preview: Former U.S. goalkeeper in Valley to watch games in Glendale

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Former U.S. Men's soccer goalie Brad Friedel previews the Gold Cup mathups in Glendale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Former U.S. Men's soccer goalie Brad Friedel previews the Gold Cup mathups in Glendale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Brad Friedel knows what it’s like to play in a big game. 

The former U.S. Men’s National Team goalie played in three World Cups and is currently the record holder for most consecutive appearances in the Premier League. 

Friedel will be at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday to watch the Gold Cup quarterfinals.

“These are the fun games, the knock out games, the ones where there's pressure on,” says Friedel, who retired at 44 years old. “A lot of people think the opposite, the friendlies are the fun ones. These are the fun ones. You either win, you do the business, or you go home. The older I got the more relaxed you became. The younger I was the more anxiety you had.”

Friedel currently serves as the coach of the U-19s USA Team. He’s also the TV analyst for the event and has a keen insight into the matchups.

“Jamaica against Canada, that's an intriguing game,” says Friedel who played in the Gold Cup multiple times. “There's a lot of MLS and USL players that will be used to playing in the heat. Canada hasn't been doing that well in the Gold Cup competition. They have this exciting player named Davies and just brought in Cyle Larin. That one is a flip of the coin.”

"As far as the Mexico game, I would say that Honduras probably has a more experienced group coming into the game. It will not be easy for any of these four teams. I'm going to give the edge to Mexico in this game because of the aura around Mexico and Honduras doesn't have a great record against them," he added.

Friedel spent Wednesday at Academia Del Pueblo in Phoenix, putting fans can meet the former U.S. goal keeper and get pictures and autographs prior to Thursday’s quarterfinals in Glendale. 

Mexico and Honduras play the early game with Canada and Jamaica and Canada in the nightcap.

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