Five U.S. matches over the last month has generated significant movement on the U.S. depth chart – perhaps more shuffling than in any month-long stretch in Jurgen Klinsmann’s time in charge, which is now approaching two years.
Over the next five days, we’ll examine the U.S. depth chart, making our best educated guesses at how things stack up on Jurgen Klinsmann’s big board inside the manager’s Home Depot Center offices.
First up: GOALKEEPING
Goalkeeper is clearly the most stable position in the United States arrangement.
Sure, there was a bit of a groundswell of clamor for change, one fueled by Brad Guzan’s breakout season with Aston Villa and boosted by hints of slippage from trusty Tim Howard around Goodison Park.
But don’t look for any big movement in the established order. So “Nothing to see here, folks,” as they say. “Just move along.”
Guzan’s brilliant, heroic campaign at Villa Park, one so crucial in keeping the proud club in English soccer’s highest tier, was hardly lost on Klinsmann. It’s just that America’s first soccer coach has such big trust in Howard that there’s no reason to rock the Yank boat – not in his opinion, and only Klinsmann’s opinion counts in these matters.
Klinsmann set the record straight in May, stating unequivocally that it’s Howard, then Guzan. Period. Then Howard did absolutely nothing wrong in three World Cup qualifiers, soooo … What else is left to say?
By the way, Chicago’s Sean Johnson is 4th on this list ahead of Tally Hall and Bill Hamid only because he started the January friendly against Canada ahead of the other two. Truthfully, they are all probably 4, 4A and 4B, ranked fluidly according to circumstance and form.
(And one more caveat: if some unspeakable injury blow were to befall Howard and Guzan, we would probably introduce another name into the presumed rotation: perhaps you’ve heard of Mr. Brad Friedel?)
U.S. Goalkeeper ordering
- 1. Tim Howard
- 2. Brad Guzan
- 3. Nick Rimando
- 4. Sean Johnson
Up later today: the U.S. right back ordering
Tomorrow: Center backs and left back