Five years after being passed over to start a cup final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan is experiencing a bit of deja vu.
Guzan will be benched in favor of 38-year-old Shay Given for Aston Villa's FA Cup semifinal match against Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday, manager Tim Sherwood announced on Friday. Guzan, who has not started throughout the club's FA Cup run this season, has started all 33 of the club's league matches. In 2010, he missed out to a fellow American, as Brad Friedel started the League Cup final against the Red Devils despite Guzan manning the net in cup games up to that point.
"Shay plays. Absolutely. He's done nothing wrong and he's a large part of the reason we're in this semifinal," Sherwood said at a press conference. "The saves he made against Leicester (in the round of 16) were fantastic and at the right time. He trains fantastically well and he's pushing Brad all the way for that No. 1 spot."
Aston Villa is currently six points clear of the Premier League drop zone after earning four points in its last two matches. Guzan, the USA's current No. 1 goalkeeper with Tim Howard on a year-long hiatus, should return to the net for the club's next league match, which is April 25 at Manchester City.