Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan is hoping the US national team coaches have a straightforward decision in picking a replacement for Tim Howard, and is aiming to keep the Everton stalwart confined to the bench once he returns from his self-imposed sabbatical.
Guzan, 30, has been one of the leading shot-stoppers in the Premier League since claiming the number one role at Villa at the start of the 2012-13 campaign, but Howard’s continued presence in the US goal has seen him earn just 26 international caps since his debut in 2006.
However, with the 35-year-old moving to take a break from national team duty until September 2015 following a starring role at the World Cup, his backup in Brazil is the clear front-runner to claim the job ahead of Real Salt Lake veteran Nick Rimando.
|2014-15||Team||Goals Conceded||Error Lead To Goal||Clean Sheet||Saves||Save %||Total Crosses Claimed||Cross Claim Success||Goal Kick Acc||Apps||Mins|
|Brad Guzan||Aston Villa||9||0||3||19||67.86%||7||100.00||37.5%||7||630|
Should Guzan impress in the meantime then it could be tough for Howard to reclaim the role upon his return and, speaking ahead of Friday's friendly against Ecuador in East Hartford, Conn, the former Chivas USA star has reiterated that that is his ultimate aim.
‘Ultimately, you try to make it tough for the manager come selection time, and make it to the last 11,’ he told ESPN FC. ‘You have to seize the moment, because in soccer you don't know when the next chance it going to come.
‘That's what it's about: Making it tough on the manager, to not only select me but to keep me on the field. When you get the chance, you don't want to give it up.
'Obviously, he's [Howard] getting older and at some point there's going to be a change,’ Guzan added. ‘Whether it's sooner or later, that's going to be up to him.
‘We've been fortunate with a great line of goalkeepers in this country, and I'm just trying to step. Goalkeepers are unique in that only one goalkeeper can play every game. There's only one of you.’
While the 104-times capped Howard has no doubt established himself on the Mount Rushmore of US keepers, alongside predecessors Tony Meola, Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller, the position’s future looks to be setting in the safe hands of Guzan.