Bruce Arena will stick with Tim Howard as USMNT starting goalkeeper

BY Ryan Rosenblatt • May 30, 2017

Tim Howard will be the United States' starting goalkeeper for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago (June 8 at 7:50 p.m. on FS1) and Mexico (June 11 at 8:30 p.m. on FS1). Bruce Arena confirmed that the 36-year-old is the Americans' No. 1 as the team convened for training camp.

"As of now it’s Tim Howard," Arena said Monday. "He had two good games (in March) and we’ll have to see how these guys look over the next couple of weeks. We have good goalkeepers here so that’s the least of my worries."

It's not really a surprise that Howard is going to be the Americans' starting goalkeeper. He got the nod in March despite just returning from a months-long injury layoff and admitted that he wasn't 100 percent because he lacked training and match fitness. Now, three months later, Howard is match fit and has had plenty of training, so he should be even sharper than he was when he helped the U.S. to a win over Honduras and a draw in Panama.

The difference between now and March is Brad Guzan is on the roster. Guzan missed the March qualifiers because his wife was giving birth to their child, eliminating Howard's primary competition for the starting spot. But Guzan has played intermittently over the last year, working primarily as a backup at Middlesbrough and generally not playing as well as Howard. Now, he's making the move to Atlanta United, where he could play well enough to take the U.S. starting job from Howard, but that will take some time.

One of the concerns for the U.S. is a lack of younger options in goal. Ethan Horvath is on the U.S. roster, fresh off of his debut with Club Brugge, and he could be the Americans' backstop before long, but right now the job is Howard's ... and Arena doesn't seem particularly conflicted by the choice

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