USMNT to feel the pain of Tim Howard’s loss
And that may put a serious hurt on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s chances to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Howard was injured in goal for Everton almost two weeks ago in a collision with Oldham striker Robbie Simpson during an FA Cup match.
“Tim has two fractures, but they are not the bones which are supporting anything, it is off the spine,” Everton manager David Moyes told The Daily Mail. “They are not weight bearing. It just needs a bit of healing time. It is not like a pure fracture where need to wait to look at it. It is a question of whether he can cope with the pain.”
While it is good news that the injury is not more serious, Howard is not expected to return to the Everton lineup until sometime in April. And that means he will miss World Cup qualifying matches against Costa Rica on March 22 and at Mexico on March 26.
The U.S. is already in a hole after dropping the opening game of qualifying against Honduras, the squad’s first World Cup qualifier loss to Honduras, as well as the first time the U.S. failed to win its opening games in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
In other words, a difficult task just got a little bit harder.
Brad Guzan, currently the goalie at Randy Lerner’s Aston Villa, is expected to take over for Howard between the pipes. And while Aston Villa is currently in the relegation zone of the Premier League, Guzan is having what is considered a solid season in his first year as a starter.
Guzan is the only goalie to start for the U.S. other than Howard in the past four years – although the last time Guzan started a match that counted was in 2009. Overall, he has made 20 international appearances and posted a 3-1-1 record in qualifiers. He has twice backed wins against Barbados and has a win over Guatemala – two teams that are not among the world’s best.
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann has his work cut out for him, as central defenders Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez struggled in the loss to Honduras. Throw in a new goalie and things could get rough.
In addition, Landon Donovan won’t be available and Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo are battling injuries and, well, things just aren’t getting any easier.
The U.S. started to dig itself a hole with the loss to Honduras.
Losing Howard only makes getting out that hole that much harder.
(Photo by The Daily Mail)