USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann surprised by Brad Guzan's benching at Aston Villa

Brad Guzan

The 30-year-old American goalkeeper was replaced between the posts by Shay Given during the final weeks of the season.

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed that he was surprised to see goalkeeper Brad Guzan lose his starting role with Aston Villa during the Premier League run-in.

Klinsmann was speaking to US Soccer after naming Guzan to his 22-man squad for his side’s upcoming European friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, which will serve as preparation for the summer’s Gold Cup campaign.

With Tim Howard on an international sabbatical until September, the Villa veteran has been confirmed as the team’s number one for the tournament and could have a chance to nail down the job for the foreseeable future with an impressive run of performances.

Nevertheless, while his future with the US looks to be bright, Guzan’s claret and blue career remains up in the air following a difficult few weeks which have seen him forced to watch the closing stages of club’s season from the bench.

Dropped for Shay Given following a goal-costing blunder in the opening stages of April’s narrow 3-2 defeat at Manchester City, reports suggest that the Chicago-native could now be moved on this summer as manager Tim Sherwood looks to remodel his squad in his first transfer window in charge. [h/t Telegraph].

That would be a rash decision for some, considering he was hailed as one of the top-flight’s leading custodians over the previous two seasons after helping save Villa from relegation with his shot-stopping heroics, with Klinsmann himself shocked at the 28-times capped keeper’s plight.

Asked about Guzan’s situation, the German said: “We are excited to have Brad Guzan back in our group. He will be the starter in the Gold Cup. He is our number one, so it’s really important for him to pick up games with us.

“It’s exciting, even if he had some tough weeks at Aston Villa where suddenly the coach for whatever reason decided to put him behind Shay Given. That surprised us big time, but he fights through that and he will be sharp and hungry for the long summer.”

Guzan has made 139 total appearances for Villa since joining the club from MLS side Chivas USA in August 2008, and was on a run of 108 consecutive Premier League starts prior to being benched for last month's 3-2 home win over Everton.

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