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Tim Howard still eyeing USMNT return in September

Tim Howard USMNT 67

Photo by USA Today Sports Images


In the midst of a year-long break from international play, Tim Howard is getting closer to potentially making his way back into the U.S. Men’s National Team fold.

Howard stepped away from international duty last summer following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with the primary reason being that he wanted to spend more time with his family. The veteran goalkeeper continued to play for English club Everton, but always had in mind that he could make his USMNT return in September after the CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign.

In a recent interview with Everton’s website, Howard said he is sticking to the plan and hopes the USMNT will have him back.

“I’ll integrate myself back into the team if they will still have me and go from there and see what happens,” Howard said. “I wanted more time with my family as I wanted more time out with my children and, to be honest, it’s been a great decision.”

Jurgen Klinsmann has called up Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando William Yarbrough, and Bill Hamid regularly to spend time in goal during Howard’s absence. Guzan, Rimando and Yarbrough are in the current U.S. squad that will face the Netherlands and Germany in upcoming friendlies, and Howard plans to take the game in.

“We’re playing the Netherlands on a big stage with world-class players and a crowd that will be right up for it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to watching the game.”

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann recently named Guzan the starter for the upcoming Gold Cup campaign.


Happy to hear that Howard is still interested in playing for the U.S.? Do you see Howard supplanting Guzan if and when he returns?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Remember how bad Landon was playing pre-camp in his MLS games….it was really poor. LD was pushing to set the all time goal scoring record in the MLS but it had been games and games without doing it.
    He didn’t turn it up and start to play at that higher level until his feelings were hurt and had a point to prove to JK that it was a mistake leaving him off the WC roster.

      • Dunno if that’s what sparked him, but Donovan was in some wretched form just prior to the World Cup. Watched him play for LA against the Carolina Railhawks in the US Open right after he got cut from the USMNT and Oh My was he bad…the Railhawks won 2-0. Looked slow, pensive, disinterested…I thought at that point Donovan was a blown player…he had come off the bench against Mexico in a friendly a few weeks before and looked much the same. Just to judge from form, Donovan was NOT in good form at that moment in time, and it ended up being really, really bad timing for him.

        He woke up shortly thereafter and went on a tear – he ripped up Bayern Munich in the MLS All-Star Game in a short 30-minute cameo in August – but in May when the rosters were being put together, he was indeed looking dreadful, probably the worst I’ve seen him look in his entire pro career. I didn’t think, at that point, he’d be “back”…and I was not surprised at all to find out he was retiring at the end of the year. It’s also not beyond the realm of possibility his “wakeup” coincided with his decision to retire.

  2. No matter what Klinsmann does, it will be perceived by many as simply confirming whatever opinion they already had of him. If he takes Howard back into the team, it will prove to some that JK had a deep personal animus toward LD that overrode any objective evaluation of his play leading up to the WC. If he goes with Guzan, Rimando and leaves Howard out of the squad, it will prove to those same people that JK overvalues loyalty and ignores more important matters. Conversely, JK apologists will point to the timing and circumstances of Howard’s sabbatical as justifying his inclusion, or claim that JK is merely being consistent if he is not welcomed back.

    • True, but people have to realize that there’s a big difference between totally quitting soccer for a while and simply taking some time off from the national team after the WC, while still playing at the highest club level.

  3. poor Tim Howard. He thinks he could charm his way back into good graces after leaving the team behind. Klinsmann will let him “earn” his way back into the Gold Cup squad, eventually starting and playing well and being named MVP and thinking everything is back to how it once was. Then, the week before WCQ is set to begin, he’ll be cut in favor of position-switching WONDOWLOWSKI-who brings grit, hustle, team chemistry and the ability to boot the ball high in the air from short distances and away from the goal, which is critical for a goalkeeper under tight pressure in the box.

    • your comedy routine would have been better had it taken into account reality. Howard clearly says he won’t be back to the NT until september (it’s in the headline…) thus he won’t be able to “earn” his way back into the Gold Cup squad since it will be over by then…..

  4. There’s a big difference between what Donovan and Howard did. Donovan left not just the national team but his club team as well with almost no advanced warning.

    Howard by contrast asked permission of Klinsmann before making his decision and didn’t leave the team hanging. He’s always said that he would have to earn his way back onto the team whereas Donovan seemed to assume that he’d be guaranteed a spot upon return.

    Not to mention that Donovan left during WC qualifying while Howard left the year after the WC with mostly meaningless friendlies to be played (Gold Cup not withstanding, but again, he gave the USMNT a year to prepare for that).

      • Agree with Dan that it’s not the same thing.

        But, I agree with you that JK’s personal feelings also come into play.

        In other words, if LD asked for permission…. it’s unlikely JK would have conceded.

      • Disagree , there is a huge difference between “Dad can I borrow the car” and then taking it out to the Mall, and saying “Dad i am taking the car with or without your permission.”

        Maybe not a perfect analogy because JK doesn’t own a player’s schedule, but the attitude reflected is similar.

        AND JK has a big ego like all great players. He wanted to be respected. LD showed little defference to the guy who controls the USMNT roster.

  5. Let’s not forget that LD put in an MVP caliber shift at the 2013 Gold Cup with a B squad and, still, that wasn’t enough penitence for JK by May 2014. But I think Howard should be allowed to compete for the starting spot without holding this USMNT hiatus against him.

    • I am a bit mixed. This Gold Cup is pretty important and he is skipping.

      But the US was insane to not have Landon in the WCup last year. Howard is probably a little more replaceable than the greatest US player ever, but similar situations anyway.

    • He was also absolute crap in the important lead-up friendly against Mexico (and in that precamp), and also under-performing badly in MLS.

      • LD would go on to win MLS cup that year, finding great form. Klinsmann made a power play and removed LD. It backfired.

        Wondolousy made the squad, and his only noteworthy moment was to sky a sitter that would have had us into the next round.

      • More than half the team was crappy in that game, if what you are saying holds any truth. He was above 50% of the team in fitness at that camp. And after being sacked from the WC over a personal vendetta, ended up winning MLS with plenty of goals and outstanding performance.

  6. Didn’t have a great season but I would think he’d immediately be the starter again. Wonder if he’ll be held to the same standard as LD was? Doubt it because he plays in Europe and JK doesn’t appear to harbor a personal grudge against Timmy.

    • I’m curious to see this one play out as well. I did notice that TH seems to be more humble in his return. LD acted like he was owed his spot with the NT but TH has shown humility and I think that will pay off for him.

      • I thought the same thing. be curious to see what happens with this. love both Guzan and Howard so its a win win in my opinion.

      • Davis-Lennon, do you pull this stuff out of your behind just because you don’t like Donovan? When Donovan came back from sabbatical he constantly said that he would have to work his way back and earn a spot on the team. Then when Klinsmann left him off the qualifiers he said he was ok with it and knew he had to earn his way back through the Gold Cup. He even constantly said that he would be willing to come off the bench. So what are you talking about?

      • The two sabbaticals are different.

        LD’s came when JK was just getting there and forming the team for the qualifiers. LD never said when or even if he would come back and clearly indicated it was possible he might not come back at all. And the team had no designated successor to LD.

        Timmy gave a definite timeline for his return. He did his after the World Cup was over and missed only friendlies. He will miss the Gold Cup but when he left the team had Guzan who has been Timmy’s successor in waiting for some time.

        The two sabbaticals are as different as night and day.

    • There are some differences in the circumstances. Primarily, THs leave was established pre-cycle rather than mid in a critical period in qualification. Was carried out through direct discussion, consultation and agreement with JK rather than merely informing. He continued to play for club and maintain form. LD had EVERY right as a sovereign adult to do what he did for his own personal health/well-being. The most difficult thing about LDs decision is that there would most certainly be consequences as a result. And there were. It will be much less severe, but there will be consequences for TH as well- he will have much more time before WC to reintegrate/make up for his absense. I was BUMMED LD wasn’t at WC, but some folks ignoring that his state and his decisions didn’t play a part in that ignores a lot. That he needed that break and the fact he retired immediately after points to the fact that his tank was down to fumes. I’d be surprised if TH doesn’t have a few more seasons in him- guess we’ll see how his club career and return to USMNT plays out.

      • I’d add……… real world- in making such a decision, your relationship to your boss/manager has to realistically be considered. Leaving the game mid-cycle during WC quals is a big ask to begin with. If it is being asked or rather told to a manager who is perhaps looking for reasons to lessen your role….. well…

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