U.S. Men's National Team

Guzan awaits work permit decision as Villa deal looms

Brad Guzan stands less than nine hours away from having the course of his professional career determined by a work permit panel in England.

The Chivas USA goalkeeper is set to make a transfer move to Aston Villa, but the close to $4 million move is contingent on Guzan securing a work permit. He doesn’t have the national team appearances to get one through normal means so he must leave his fate up to a work permit panel that will determine if he is worthy of a work permit.

If Las Vegas had a line on Guzan’s work permit I think it would be at about even money right now. I know work permits have been tricky in years past (Bobby Convey anybody?) but the pedigree of American goalkeepers in England coupled with Guzan’s own resume should earn him the nod. I’m sure Guzan’s people will compare Guzan’s track record with Tim Howard’s track record just before he signed with Manchester United in 2003 and consider them similar situations. Howard did have Man U behind him as well as the potential for a Hungarian passport, but I think Guzan’s case is a strong one.

If and when Guzan does join Villa it will make for an interesting battle between he and English national team goalkeeper Scott Carson for the starting job. Carson is far from a lock to hold on to the job, especially when you know Villa has no intention of buying him after his loan spell runs out.

Is Aston Villa really a better option than Celtic? I believe it is. Yes, Celtic is a lock for Champions League play every year, but there are plenty of weeks when the Hoops go untested in the top-heavy SPL whereas Guzan will face stiff competition almost every week. He will also be playing for a top manager in Martin O’Neill and have a chance to grow with a team already filled with young talent.

We will find out soon enough whether Guzan has been given the go-ahead to move to England and when we do, it should spell another important chapter in the impressive recent history of American goalkeeper.

  • Nick

    Do they get 3/4 of the fee of 2/3? I thought it was 2/3. Either way, not a bad bit of business for a keeper coming from the MLS. Those EPL teams must be loving the current exchange rate, they don’t have to pay a lot and in dollar terms, the MLS is getting decent sums for their players. Win-win in my book.


  • Q&notU

    my B … I believe it is 2/3. So around $2.7mil to the Goaties. MLS should take their 1/3 cut & use it to DOUBLE the min salary. the Andrew Jacobson saga is proof of a broken system. what a waste of a draft pick!!


  • YankatOxford

    Good decision to avoid Celtic. I think his permit will be granted, by the skin of the teeth. He could very well be starting for Villa come next season.


  • Amit

    Just a question for all:

    If Chivas got about $2.7 million for Guzan, can they use that towards their salary cap, like an allocation?


  • Jim


    Yes O’Neill managed Celtic and had great success there.

    I wanted Guzan to join Celtic but he would have been in back of one of the top goalies in the world, good for learning, bad for playing time. I expect Bouruc to be sold in the summer but if not Brad could have had a tough time breaking into the lineup. At Aston Villa he will have a better chance in a better league and likely make more money. Champions League action will be tough but they should be able to get the UEFA Cup frequently.

    Good luck wherever you go Brad!


  • DaBull

    Assuming this goes through, the real question becomes will he shave his head like Freidel, Hahnemann, and Howard?


  • Murphy

    I think Aston Villa is much better than Celtic, for the reasons Ives listed. Much better competition in England than Scotland.

    Ives, you mentioned something about a Hungarian passport for Howard? What was that all about? I don’t remember that…


  • Nick

    Yeah, Carson is crap. The fact that there has been so much talk about Almunia of Arsenal becoming an English citizen so he can play for the national team really shows you the state of the English keeper pool. That isn’t to say that Almunia isn’t that good, he definitely is, it’s just that the English keepers are rubbish! Guzan shouldn’t have a problem starting over Carson.


  • Offtheline

    I’ve heard reports from those in Birmingham that the permit has been outright rejected -> no Villa for Guzan it looks


  • Michael

    Feilhaber got a work permit, so why not Guzan?

    I love the Villa situation. I think if Americans want to play in the prem they should aim for the Villas, Evertons, Blackburns, and West Hams of the League. A place where they can develop and work for a spot. Not Fulham or Derby.


  • kpugs

    I hope he gets the permit, but I’m not nearly as optimistic as you Ives. I just really don’t see him getting it. Howard got one because of Man U in my mind, not his pedigree. These permit boards are a bunch of smug bastards and Villa don’t have the pull to grease the wheels that a Man U might.


  • Ilya

    No, sorry. In any case, it is clear he signed (he is wearing the shirt!), whether on loan from PSV or permanently I have no idea.


  • Il Consigliere

    Villa boards are saying that Guzan was denied his work permit…as reported by Sky Sports News…


  • Dave


    When was the turnaround from Villa not buying Carson, in late November Carson and Villa spoke as if buying him was going to be a mere formality. Where was the u-turn? Did they just balk at ‘pools asking price or was it the England-Croatia game, any clue?


  • Babak

    Sky Sports News are reporting that he has been denied a work permit to join Villa. As a Villa fan I’m gutted, as Chivas USA fan I hope he stays now.


  • GD

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Guzan “report” on sky sports listed under rumor/speculation? It says that the work permit was denied automatically since he doesn’t have the appearances, which is nothing new – just what Ives indicated.

    That’s the standard procedure, you don’t play in 75% of your country’s competitive matches over the last 2 years and your permit is denied. So you appeal it (or get a European passport).

    It sounds like he’s getting an appeal today, either way we’ll know in a few hours…


  • blent

    Is Ives deleting comments that raise basic questions about his understanding of facts? Apparently.


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