Tim Howard will be the key player if the USA is to progress from a difficult World Cup group also containing Portugal, Germany and Ghana.
Former international goalkeeper Brad Friedel, our Sony expert following the USA in Brazil, says his replacement between the sticks faces a busy summer – but that he’s equipped to keep out some of the world’s best strikers.
“Tim Howard has had an outstanding season, in fact he’s had an outstanding career since he moved from Manchester United to Everton,” said Friedel. “Timmy will be the No1 provided he doesn’t get injured, and we have another very good goalkeeper behind him in Brad Guzan.
“But Timmy is going to be instrumental in the U.S. trying to progress through the group stages. The one weakness we have with the U.S. side will probably be defensively. I think in the games especially against Portugal and Germany he could be a busy boy.”
Friedel added that there are still some selection issues facing head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I think the center back pairing will probably be the one that isn’t decided,” he added.
“The right back is probably decided in Geoff Cameron, with left back another position up for grabs. I think in the midfield and up front we are quite strong and Jurgen probably knows who he is going to play.
“But the goalkeeping position right now in the U.S. is pretty strong, with Timmy still playing, and playing to the levels that he is, and Brad Guzan getting the playing time that he is at Aston Villa.
“After that, in my opinion it drops off a little bit. I wouldn’t go as far as to say there’s a massive decline because you’re still going to get a fair few years out of Timmy and a fair few years out of Brad after that, so there is time to develop other goalkeepers behind them.”