Tim Howard is back! Last seen representing the Stars and Stripes in heroic fashion during the Brazil World Cup, the Everton keeper has ended his voluntary sabbatical and been recalled to the U.S. roster for a pair of September friendlies versus Peru and Brazil.
In Howard’s absence longtime understudy Brad Guzan made his claim for the number one goalkeeper job, although a poor showing in the Gold Cup semifinal loss to Jamaica by the Aston Villa man could give Jurgen Klinsmann an opening to reinstate Howard.
The U.S. MNT will play Peru September 4 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (7pm ET on Fox Sports 1) before going up against Brazil September 8 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (8pm ET on ESPN).
As the final two games before the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff showdown with Mexico at the Rose Bowl, these two friendlies take on added importance for the U.S. MNT.
That all or nothing October match with Mexico could have been avoided had the Americans won the 2015 Gold Cup, but when the U.S. capped a poor tournament with a shock loss to Jamaica the die was cast.
Howard is not the only veteran recalled by Klinsmann, also back in the fold are Jermaine Jones, Geoff Cameron and Danny Williams. The U.S. MNT coach and Technical Director has left Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey out of the squad for the Peru match, although the team’s two most recent captain’s could be called in to face Brazil.
Minus Dempsey, the U.S. forward pool looks a bit thin. Jozy Altidore returns after a poor Gold Cup that saw him sent back to Toronto early. Aron Johannsson should play an important role after his transfer to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, and Klinsmann has called in a new German-American prospect Andrew Wooten, who has scored five goals in five games this season for 2 Bundesliga side SV Sandhausen.
Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes, selected as a forward and not a midfielder, round out the strike force.
Similarly, the midfield will badly miss Bradley’s leadership while Greg Garza is the only full-time fullback selected. With Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler both unavailable through injury, versatile middlemen Geoff Cameron, Tim Ream, Ventura Alvarado and Michael Orozco could end up out wide, although Klinsmann could choose to give DeAndre Yedlin, listed as a midfielder, a run at his former position.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)