When I was a boy growing up in Bay Village, near Cleveland, Ohio, I played every sport I could. I loved the competition, the physical challenge and mastering skills. When soccer became my main sport there was no professional league to speak of in the US and it was hard to dream of a career in the game. Now, reflecting on an adventure that started when I joined UCLA in 1989, and ends in the next few weeks with Tottenham, it all seems very surreal.
I have had highs and lows, ups and downs, met some incredible people, learned more than just how to keep goal, traveled to places all over the globe, and played against world’s best. During that time I have had the privilege of representing some of the greatest football clubs in the world, and experienced the passion of fans who I have felt were behind me in saving every shot or catching every cross.
For those people who have followed me as fans at UCLA, Brondby, Galatasaray, Columbus Crew, Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham, and the US National Team; I am honored that you let me be a part of your dedicated and loyal support.
To the managers, coaches, trainers, physios, kit personnel, medical team; to the other staff, from executives to groundskeepers, security people, and kitchen staff – all the support staff – you are the people who make every football club tick on a day-to-day basis, I can only say thank you.
I have played with some outstanding players. When you play a team sport there is a special and unique bond that you have with your teammates. Those are moments I will never forget.
As I now embark on a second career, I will continue to be involved in the game. I look forward to my work as an analyst with FOX Sports, and as a Tottenham Club Ambassador in the US.
If I have provided the inspiration to a single player to take up the game, to strive to be better, and maybe even, to play at the highest level; then that is a legacy I will be immensely proud of.