Tim Howard, 36, completed his one-year sabbatical from the United States men’s national team, but he has not reclaimed the No. 1 goalie spot that he’s had for the better part of a decade. He is not on the field against Peru tonight or won’t be for the foreseeable future.
The Secretary of Defense has 104 caps for the senior team and remains Everton’s top choice, but his decision to take a year off international soccer clearly frustrated national coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Howard made his first appearance for the U.S. in 2002.
Howard was included in the squad for this week’s friendlies, but is the No. 2 at the moment.
Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan, 30, will get the start against Peru and Brazil this week ahead of the Confederations Cup playoff with Mexico next month. According to Klinsmann, no position change will take place until after the Mexico match.
This isn’t the first time Klinsmann has had to deal with a returning star player. Landon Donovan took a year off and was subsequently left off the 2014 World Cup roster. Though he racked up 157 caps for the Stars and Stripes, Donovan’s international career was cut short by the decision.
Howard tweeted his excitement about returning to the national fold.
Since making a permanent move to Everton in February, 2007, Howard has made more than 300 appearances for the club and has been one of the top goalies in the world in that time.
2018 World Cup qualifying for the United States will begin in November.
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