Jurgen Klinsmann plans to rotate Tim Howard, Brad Guzan in U.S. goal
Neither Tim Howard nor Brad Guzan will be the anointed No. 1 U.S. men's national team goalkeeper going forward.
Howard made his long-awaited return to the U.S. goal in Tuesday night's 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, making his first appearance for the U.S. since the 2014 World Cup round of 16 against Belgium. He stepped in for Guzan, who Klinsmann tabbed his starter despite Howard's return in September. Guzan started throughout the CONCACAF Gold Cup (winning the Golden Glove award as the competition's best goalkeeper), and he started through last Saturday's CONCACAF Cup loss to Mexico.
With World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, Klinsmann isn't leaning on one over the other and said he plans to rotate the two.
"[Howard] absolutely deserved to start tonight," Klinsmann said following the Costa Rica loss, the USA's third straight defeat. "He took his break and he came back and he put himself in the waiting spot, and i think over the whole 14-15 months Brad Guzan did an excellent job.
"We have two exceptional, international-caliber goalkeepers, and we need both of them. We need both of them on board. That's what I told them. Going forward they will probably rotate, then there will come a decision if we play Copa America or Gold Cup or whatever comes up, one starts over the other.
"For us coaches it's extremely important to have both of them. I cannot afford to lose one of them, because he's not getting his games or he gets frustrated, but they are two outstanding characters, they are givers, both of them. They respect each other 1,000%, and they help each other. Whoever is in the backup roll pushes the one that starts and so on. So our job is to keep both with us for the upcoming years, because after that there is a hole."
Beyond Howard and Guzan, Klinsmann has turned to Real Salt Lake veteran Nick Rimando, Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson, D.C. United's Bill Hamid and Club Leon's William Yarbrough. Milton Keynes Dons and U-23 goalkeeper Cody Cropper has also briefly been incorporated with the senior team.
Both Premier League goalkeepers will return to their clubs for the next few weeks before presumably being called in for the start of World Cup qualifying. The USA hosts St. Vincent and The Grenadines in St. Louis on Nov. 13 before playing at Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 19. Klinsmann did not specify his goalkeeper starter plan for the start of the new World Cup cycle.