Tim Howard isn’t the only prominent goalkeeper on the U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup. Though Howard, the starter, will get the majority of the playing time in Brazil, Brad Guzan has also carved out a name for himself in the international soccer world.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He’s the 2nd String Goalkeeper for the U.S. National Team
Guzman is the second choice goalkeeper after Everton’s Tim Howard for the up and coming 2014 World Cup. Howard’s stats are clearly better than Guzman’s.
Guzan has a 64.5 percent (118 saves on 183 shots), which is below average for the league. But a weak backline in front of him at Aston Villa contributes to the low average, according to American Soccer Now. Last year’s statistics help confirm this assertion that Villa had a higher average of defensive breakdowns, making it easier for opponents to have a good scoring position against Guzman.
Sixty-eight percent of Guzan’s saves came from shots inside the box, while 58 percent of Howard’s saves were from shots inside the box. Everton’s defense was much better at keeping the ball from Howard, giving him a better chance of saving shots.Given the information, Howard is still supperior to Guzan’s which was proven by his performance in the 2010 World Cup.
2. He was Loaned to Hull City
It all happened within 24 hours, next thing you know I’m driving up the highway to Hull City to play my first game. I spent the night in the hotel and played on the 1st.”
It’s a lot different instead of playing once every third month in a cup game, you’re able to play consistent football. It does wonders for your confidence and ultimately that shows in your play.”
The Hull City also wanted to keep Guzan until the end of the season, however he was on a month to month deal since it is only possible to havehave five loan signings. He spent December 2010 until July 2012 with the HC Tigers.
Guzan thinks of the loan as a positive experience, giving him lots of experience and playing time that gave him the confidence to be bumped back up to Aston Villa.
3. He Returned to Aston Villa as a Starter
On July 16, 2012, Guzan was included in Aston Villa’s 25 man roster by the new manager, Paul Lambert, Villa would be on a tour of the United States shortly after Guzan had renewed his contract with the club.
He excelled after rejoining the team the end of the 2012-13 Premier League season, he was voted the Aston Villa Player of the Year and said he would continue to give his all to the team.
4. He Skipped the Gold Cup in 2011 to Get Married
In the summer of 2011, Guzan made the decision to miss the Gold Cup to get married to his wife Breanne. Guzan realized he was second choice to Tim Howard and would not get much playing time if any at all. The couple ended up getting married June 18 in Chicago.
This was a risky decision because if Tim Howard had gotten hurt and Guzan wasn’t present to help his country, he would have been shunned by American soccer fans. Luckily Howard stayed healthy and Guzan ended up making the right decision.
5. He Helps Raise Money for Cancer Treatment
Guzan’s wife, Breanne, volunteers at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital as an aid for children with cancer. One of Guzan’s biggest fans, 7-year-old patient Jamie Morris, was a victim of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Guzan was familiar with this condition when almost two and a half years ago the club captain of Aston Villa, Stiliyan Petrov (Stan), was diagnosed with AML. Petrov unfortunately suffered from AML, a cancer uncommon in those younger than 50, while in his thirties while Jamie was only seven when diagnosed in June 2013.
Guzan told Mail Online:
He’s a huge Villa fan and I seem to be his favourite. It was an honour to meet him and it’s wonderful to see how well he, and Stan (Petrov), are progressing. My respect for everybody who works with kids in hospitals is huge. If I can use my so-called fame to help ease the kids’ minds, I will.”
Guzan was present to watch Jamie’s release from the hospital in December 2013, handing him Christmas presents that included his match-worn goalkeeping gloves and tickets for the next game. Guzan became close with Jamie and continued to spread awareness for cancer.