The Case for Brad Guzan

Guzan_HowardBrad Guzan and Tim Howard both helped their side to victories on Wednesday and are arguably 2 of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.  They are also the top 2 choices for U.S. national team head Jurgen Klinsmann with the Everton man holding a slight edge for the #1 Jersey.  But Soccer365’s Pat Johnston believes it is time to give Howard’s deputy the chance as he is the more complete goalkeeper.

By Pat Johnston

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Tim Howard clearing the ball for U.S. MNT

When comparing the top two US netminders, the gulf in ability is closing fast if it hasn’t been shut already.  Tim Howard is undoubtedly a class goalkeeper and his constant presence as Everton’s number one has been undisputed.  He has exhibited the most important quality sought after for the position- consistency.

But therein lies the issue, Howard’s has consistently shown his control of service into his box is tepid.  One thinks of the old joke about comparing goalkeepers to vampires- afraid of crosses- and Howard is referenced.  Obviously he is not poor in this category or makes bad decisions to come off his line, but he is a keeper that will not come off his line if there is any doubt.  A smart decision in itself, but that still leaves the service to be dealt with in front of his goal.

Enter Brad Guzan.  Guzan is yet match the precedent set by Howard, he is simply too young.  But what he can do is seek and destroy anything driven or floated within range.  And his range is exceptional.  Ask any defender how much they appreciate a keeper that is constantly relieving them of the stress of handling crosses and they will agree hands down it is massive.

Guzan also gets the nod regarding quick, pinpoint service to his attacking players on the other side of the park.  A side winding volley is a technique he performs flawlessly and with impressive distance and accuracy.

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Brad Guzan controlling his box for Aston Villa

As with all the American keepers that have come before him, Guzan has made shot stopping an art.  Opinions will vary on who is better in this category, but the fact it can be argued gives Guzan the overall edge.

Given his chance by Bob Bradley in the National Team, he played the requisite amount of games to earn a visa to play in the Premiership.  After biding his time behind Shay Given, Guzan has seized his chance with both hands (pun intended) and established himself as Villa’s number one and was recognized as their player of the year for 12/13.

If Jurgen Klinsmann considers giving young Guzan a fair look, he will be pleasantly surprised to know he will be going from a great goalkeeper to a greater one in Brazil.

Should Klinsmann make the change from Tim Howard to Brad Guzan?  Who do you think is the more complete goalkeeper?  Talk about the beautiful game on Soccer365’s facebook page.

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