USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann lauds Brad Guzan's Copa America performances

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Paraguay at USA

After enduring a disastrous season at Aston Villa, the under-fire goalkeeper has been rediscovering his form with the US national team over recent weeks.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Paraguay at USA

Speaking in a Facebook Q&A, US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has lavished praise on goalkeeper Brad Guzan for his performances during the group stage of the Copa America Centenario.

Guzan went into the Copa America on the back of a disastrous season at Aston Villa, having been benched twice over the second half of the campaign for his poor form as the club finished bottom of the Premier League with just 17 points.

The 31-year-old's error-strewn displays saw him roundly criticised by Villa fans and understandably left US supporters anxious when Klinsmann opted to name him as the starter over Tim Howard ahead of their tournament opener against Colombia earlier this month.

Aston Villa's Brad Guzan, Ciaran Clark and teammates look dejected after Watford's third goal

However, the German’s faith has so far been rewarded, as Guzan followed up a solid showing in the 2-0 loss to Colombia by recording consecutive clean sheets in wins over Costa Rica and Paraguay, respectively, last week to help the hosts progress to the last eight as Group A winners.

He was especially impressive in last Saturday’s narrow 1-0 victory against Paraguay, making six stops – including a fantastic double-save late on – to secure the three points, and Klinsmann has been delighted to see the 48-times capped keeper silence some of his critics in the process.

Speaking ahead of Thursday night’s quarter-final clash against Ecuador at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, Klinsmann said: “It’s big for a goalkeeper to not concede any goals obviously. Every time a goalkeeper makes a little mistake, they get blamed for everything and I think sometimes it’s really not fair.

“I think Brad is playing a tremendously good tournament. Tim Howard is there supporting him every training session. Having Tim with us just huge because he’s a giver. He pushes Brad, he helps him.

“The training sessions are very intense but Brad is calm, very balanced and ready for the big task. I think a couple of saves he made against Paraguay were big-time saves, so give him compliments and hopefully he keeps going that way.”

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Paraguay at USA

Nonetheless, while Guzan’s spot as the USA’s No. 1 is secure, his status at Villa remains up in the air.

The former MLS star, who joined the club from Chivas USA in 2008, still has another 12 months left on his contract, but rumours have been rampant over recent weeks that he could be set for a summer move.

The likes of the Daily Mail have claimed that incoming Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo is on the hunt for a new keeper as he begins rebuilding in B6, while Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported last month that two Premier League sides are interested in signing the 6ft 4in stopper.

A potential return to MLS has also been mooted, but Guzan himself reiterated earlier this week that he will wait until after the Copa America before making a decision on his future.

“Essentially it's not completely in my hands,” he told ESPN FC. “I said when I first met up with the national team that when I got on the plane from London to fly to Miami to meet up with the U.S. team my focus was completely here and on the [Copa]," Guzan said.

"That continues to be the case. At some point when this tournament is finished for us, I'll speak to them in terms of when I have to go back for preseason or not. I'm sure it will be somewhat of a quick turnaround, but at that point I'll turn my focus to my club situation and see what they want to do, and what I want to do and go from there."

Aston Villa's Brad Guzan

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