Tim Howard will miss the USA's World Cup qualifying match in Costa Rica on Tuesday, but the bad news doesn't end there for the star goalkeeper. The Colorado Rapids announced that he will miss the next four months after undergoing surgery for a fracture in his upper right groin.
Howard exited Friday night's 2-1 loss to El Tri in the 40th minute after tweaking his groin on a goal kick. He attempted to remain in the game but was replaced soon after by Brad Guzan, who is in line to start vs. Los Ticos. William Yarbrough and Ethan Horvath are the other goalkeepers on the U.S. roster for the trip. The injury comes after Howard was anointed Klinsmann's No. 1 following a spell in which he and Guzan alternated starts.
The extent of the injury was far more severe than it seemed at the time, and Howard will be unavailable to participate in the remainder of the MLS playoffs. Howard's Rapids have advanced to the Western Conference finals, with the 37-year-old playing a vital role in the penalty shootout win over the LA Galaxy in the conference semifinals. Zac MacMath will assume the starter's role in Colorado.
The four-month timetable also puts his availability for the start of next season and the USA's World Cup qualifiers in March against Honduras and Panama in jeopardy.
The two legs of the Western Conference finals, which pits the Rapids vs. the Seattle Sounders, take place on Nov. 22 and 27.