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New Leeds goalkeeper Charlie Horton aiming to join Brad Guzan and Tim Horward on US national team

Leeds United East Stand

The US Under-23 international is keen to get in touch with the Aston Villa and Everton keepers in the near future to pick up a few tips.

New Leeds United goalkeeper Charlie Horton has told ProSoccerTalk how he hopes to join the likes of Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan and Everton’s Tim Howard in the US national team before long.

Horton, 20, became Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler’s first summer signing earlier this week after opting to leave Championship rivals Cardiff City and is now aiming to push first-choice Marco Silvestri for a place between the posts going forward.

The American, who began his professional career with Peterborough United in 2013, is still to taste first-team action but, while he looks set to begin life at Elland Road in the Under-21s, new boss Rosler has claimed that he has all the makings of the club’s future number one.

Elsewhere, the London-born shot-stopper will also be battling to break into the US senior setup over the coming seasons, having earned three Under-23 caps since March – the latest coming in a 2-1 defeat to Costa Rica at the recent Toulon Tournament.

Having watched both Guzan and Howard, who is on a self-imposed international sabbatical until September, star in England football in recent campaigns, the 6ft 4in custodian is eager to link up with the pair down the road and pick up a few crucial tips to success.

He faces fierce competition from other top prospects, with current Under-20 starter Zack Steffen and fellow Under-23 keeper Cody Cropper both regarded as more promising options at this point, but he is still confident of his chances.

“My goal is to be called into a men’s camp soon and hopefully I will have the opportunity to get in touch with those guys [Howard and Guzan] and really learn,” said Horton. “For a young goalkeeper learning is so important.

“I think us Americans can stick together and I’d love to pick their brains on things, on certain situations and gather as much knowledge as you possibly can. I know where they have been and where they have reached and ultimately that is where I want to get to. Any knowledge I can get off of them is huge.”

In addition, Horton also counts the now-retired Brad Friedel has a big inspiration, having grown up not far from the Ohio-native’s hometown and even trained with him as a teenager.

He also came close to joining the former Tottenham Hotspur star at White Hart Lane before his Peterborough move and hopes he can go on to have a similar career.

"Those are big shoes to fill. If I can have a career like Brad Friedel, he is around from where I am from in Ohio, I would be honored. In every sense of the word he is a legend,” added Horton. “He has done so much for the game both in England and the States. I do think the U.S. has this reputation of producing top goalkeepers and I’m really hopeful that somewhere down the line I could be added to that list.”

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