U.S. will platoon GKs Tim Howard, Brad Guzan vs. Guatemala - Klinsmann
GUATEMALA CITY -- U.S. men's national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann said that goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be platooned over the next two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, but declined to divulge which one would start in Friday's match in Guatemala City.
Recent circumstances have raised the question of who is the starting goalkeeper. Howard lost his starting spot at Everton to Joel Robles several weeks ago. Guzan lost, and then regained the starting goalkeeper position with an Aston Villa side that seems certain to be relegated from the English Premier League, but made a high-profile error in a recent match against Swansea City.
"We have to deal with [the goalkeeping situation] the way it is," Klinsmann said during a roundtable with reporters.
He later added: "If a goalkeeper makes one mistake, that doesn't change my view of that one goalkeeper. We watch them over the years. We watch them in every club game."
Klinsmann also indicated that the injured duo of forward Jozy Altidore and defender/midfielder Fabian Johnson would be available to play, while admitting that Johnson had yet to train fully with the team. That could change when the team trains later on Thursday.
"We keep Fabian a little bit on the side," said Klinsmann. "Now we'll see a little bit more this afternoon."
Klinsmann said that Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks was one of his first-choice center-backs while Sunderland defender DeAndre Yedlin was one of his "first-choice wingers."
Both players were eligible to play for the U.S. U23 team that is contesting a two-game playoff with Colombia over the next several days for the final qualifying spot in this summer's Olympics, but Klinsmann reiterated that the World Cup qualifiers are the top priority and that in both cases, "I'm not making a compromise."
Klinsmann also confirmed that if 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic recovers from an illness, he will be called in for the home World Cup qualifier against Guatemala this Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.