Tim Howard won’t walk back into the United States men’s national soccer team’s goal. He must displace incumbent starter Brad Guzan.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Wednesday said Guzan will remain the starting goalkeeper for now, despite Howard’s return to international duty. Guzan likely will see the bulk of the action in Team USA’s upcoming exhibition games against Peru (on Sept. 4) and Brazil (on Sept. 8) as well as the all-important CONCACAF Cup game against Mexico (on Oct. 10).
“Since we are so short away from that clash with Mexico, we are not making (any) changes right now,” Klinsmann said, according to FOX Soccer’s Kyle McCarthy. “Brad is the No. 1. Tim is the No. 2. Tim accepted that because he was gone for more than a year from the team. Once we have got the Mexico game — hopefully successfully — out of the way, then we can think about how we maybe we can split some time. Now it’s about consistency with the players and getting the job done in October.”
After starring at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Howard took a one-year hiatus from Team USA in order to spend more time with his family.
Guzan, 30, has played well in most of the 12 games he has started for the U.S. since Howard, 36, stepped away.
The spotlight on Guzan now is greater than ever, as he mans the U.S. goal in its latest moment of truth. Neither Guzan nor Howard willingly will serve as a backup. The competition between them and controversy surrounding Klinsmann’s decision won’t subside anytime soon.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SInow
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