United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed Brad Guzan will be the nation’s starter at the CONCACAF Gold Cup next month, despite the goalkeeper’s woes at Aston Villa.
Villa manager Tim Sherwood dropped Guzan during the latter stages of the Premier League season, with veteran Shay Given preferred in goal.
Guzan’s axing came as a surprise to Klinsmann ahead of upcoming friendlies against Netherlands and Germany, but limited game time at Villa Park will have no bearing on the 30-year-old’s position at the 13th edition of the Gold Cup, where defending champions USA face Honduras, Haiti and Panama in Group A next month.
“We are excited to have Brad Guzan back in our group. He will be the starter in the Gold Cup,” Klinsmann said in a Q&A via US Soccer’s official website.
“He is our number one, so it’s really important for him to pick up games with us.
“It’s exciting, even if he had some tough weeks at Aston Villa where suddenly the coach for whatever reason decided to put him behind Shay Given. That surprised us big time but he fights through that and he will be sharp and hungry for the long summer.”
Guzan is one of 22 players selected by Klinsmann for USA’s trip to Amsterdam on June 5, seven days before their clash against world champions Germany in Cologne.
Clint Dempsey will miss the two friendly fixtures due to the expected birth of his fourth child.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon).
Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading).
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy).
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