It’s an interesting time for the U.S. national team’s depth chart.
At the tippy-top, there’s Tim Howard and then everyone else. Brad Guzan, starting now at Aston Villa, is closing that “everyone else” gap, but he’s been tested internationally precious little.
Nick Rimando, third man in the U.S. goalkeeping pile, is showing he can still deliver the gloved goods; did you see what Real Salt Lake’s veteran backstopper did to pool ol’ Seattle last week?
But the interesting thing about the current pool is the bottom end, where the American pool is stacked with promising young ‘keepers – with a fairly major emphasis on the “young.”
There’s Bill Hamid at D.C. United and Sean Johnson at Chicago, who have a head start on some others in the apprentice department. They’ve been called regularly into U.S. camps and both were members of the U.S. under-23 team that bombed out of Olympic competition.
Ryan Meara was having an outstanding year at Red Bull Arena before injury prematurely chopped down his eye-opening rookie season.
And then there’s Zac MacMath (pictured), the young Philadelphia shot-stopper who weebled and wobbled in his 2011 rookie campaign, but never fell completely down. Good thing, too, because his sophomore season finished pretty well, and today comes news from Soccer By Ives that MacMath is about to leave for a three-week training spell at Everton.
This is important for several reasons, not least of which is this one:
MacMath has some catching up to do, since Hamid and Johnson are clearly swimming ahead in the U.S. depth pool. But these are the training spells that Jurgen Klinsmann encourages in the U.S. players – so this surely will not go unnoticed by the U.S. manager.