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Klinsmann not promising Howard, Guzan spot in goal for USMNT


For the past several years, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s goalkeeping position has been a battle between Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.

Howard was given the majority of nods to start, and Guzan served as the capable backup. Yet, the tide appears to be changing, as the two goalkeepers have struggled for minutes in recent months and are not getting any younger. Howard turned 37 on March 6, while Guzan will be 32 in September. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is looking at the next generation of netminders to potentially take over, and thinks they are capable of doing so.

“There’s a reason why we have four goalkeepers in this camp because we’re trying to also look into the future, and the future is David Bingham, the future is William Yarbrough and other young goalkeepers coming in — Ethan Horvath, who’s playing for the Olympic team,” Klinsmann said ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifying contest vs. Guatemala in Guatemala City (10 p.m., beIN Sports/NBC Universo).

Bingham has looked strong in goal for the San Jose Earthquakes to start the 2016 MLS season, while Yarbrough has performed equally as well for Club Leon south of the U.S. border.

“We have the highest respect for Tim and for Brad Guzan, so they’re leading that group (of young players),” Klinsmann said. “So we want to see our younger goalkeepers grow. Every time they are here in the group, we want them to make an impression. We want them to become more confident and more mature.”

Klinsmann did not confirm who would be starting in goal for the Americans come Friday. While Howard appears to be the obvious choice, given his experience, the Everton — and soon-to-be Colorado Rapids — goalkeeper is not a lock. Howard has not played a game for Everton since Jan. 24.

“Having a player like Tim Howard back in our group is huge because his experience now. Is it more ideal if he plays? Absolutely,” Klinsmann said.

“But if he doesn’t play, he’s (37) years old, he’s played I don’t know how many hundred games in the Premier League and before that in MLS, so he knows how to deal with that situation (of not being selected on gameday). He’s calm. He’s professional, he’s a top, top professional.”

Guzan, who would normally be next in line to start, has also had struggles with his EPL club, Aston Villa. Guzan did not play an EPL match for approximately two months after the club suffered a string of losses. Aston Villa currently sits on the bottom of the league table, and is set to be relegated to the English Championship.

For the longest time, it seemed as though the USMNT’s regular No. 1 and No. 2 goalkeepers were to enter the first two World Cup qualifiers of the year having only a few games under their belts, but Guzan did recently regain his starting spot for Aston Villa. He and the club haven’t done any better in the four games he has appeared in this month, though, conceding 10 goals while losing all four games.

“That will sort itself out by the time the games come around,” Guzan said of the competition for the starting spot, “so we’re all focused in terms of preparing and making sure we’re all ready to contribute in whatever way we can.”

Despite his struggles, Guzan is prepared to play if selected by Klinsmann, and he believes experience playing in the region will be a much-needed asset for the team.

“We know it’s going to be a hostile environment, we know it’s going to be a difficult game,” Guzan said.

“I think we all know what these games mean and what they are about when you go down to some of these countries down in Central America and how hard they actually are. We’re going to have to use every bit of experience, every bit of knowledge, every bit of togetherness that we have to try and get a result.”


  1. ———————Wood—–Dempsey———————

    i’m going with Howard with the above 10 in front of him. at least the first game. having Cam sit in front of JAB and Omar would certainly provide cover. then having Bradley, who looks like a #10 in the above, actually playing as a #8 would add even more to it.

    doubt it happens but i like how it looks on paper…

      • no, club form. obviously. Omar hasn’t been in camp for awhile. which was good because, as you point out, he was not good. mostly due to getting complacent at LA.

        “To be honest, we have like five center-backs who can play in my spot, so I have to be ‘on’ every single day and make sure that my game is right, because they could step in and just take my position. That’s the way it is. It’s more competitive.” (in response to ESPN’s question why this move has brought out the best in him)

      • Bryan I agree with you on his club form, the switch probably revived his competitive spirit. Though I’ll say I don’t want my starting center back in a position where he needed them to be… For me his risk with the Nats has always far outweighed the reward. Has he had some solid games for us, yes, but that won’t cut it. I see him as a liability more than anything and going forward I don’t think he is the guy, will he suffice in matches such as these? I mean, I guess?

      • i 100% get the hesitation on Omar. i was the exact same until he made his move. he is more than capable of playing against Guate. if this was Spain, i’d be less likely to start him. i’d even be hesitant if it was Mexico or Costa Rica.

  2. I have been a Guzan booster in the past. However, I think when Howard is in goal our back line seems more organized. He seems better at communicating and keeping guys on their toes than Guzan. Like I wrote about Dempsey, go with the veteran in qualifying and play the younger guys in Copa America where they get top notch experience in games that aren’t really important.

  3. As long as the future doesn’t include Jonathan Klinsmann, we should be okay. No need to let two members of the family wreck the program simultaneously. Daddy K seems more than capable of doing it on his own.

    • I don’t care what his name is if he competes and wins the job. Whoever gives us the best chance to succeed needs to be on the field. Get over it Bill.

  4. While Villa hasn’t done any better with Guzan in net, he has kept them in games, and without him in net, it would be more 20 goals instead of 10. His defense gives him 0 help.

    • Well, vs Swansea is a perfect example of his season. You are right, the defense sucks.
      But he made the mistake of being too aggressive on the cross. It was a tough ball and 10 x’s tougher when you do not trust your defense.

      Obviously, the team is dreadful but Guzan has not been a shining light by any means.
      He does need to GTFO of Villa.

      • This has been a tough year for his resume. Not starting on a relegation team doesn’t show well. Hopefully he finds a good landing place!

  5. I like the chosen photo. I think they just told each other, “It’s a two goalie system, he has to choose one of us!”


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