News

U.S. keeper Howard to take year off from international duty

U.S. keeper Howard to take year off from international duty

TIM HOWARD: Howard, who will continue to play in England's Premier League with Everton, has been capped 104 times by the U.S. and was the starting goalkeeper in the last two World Cups. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S national team goalkeeper Tim Howard says he will take a year off from international duty in order to spend more time with his family.

Howard, who will continue to play in England’s Premier League with Everton, has been capped 104 times by the U.S. and was the starting goalkeeper in the last two World Cups.

In a statement distributed by the U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday, Howard, 35, said he had told U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann that he would not be available for national team selection until September 2015, meaning he would miss next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time,” said Howard.

“It’s the right decision at the right time. Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with, so I look forward to coming back next fall and competing for a spot.”

Howard’s absence will open the way for Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan to become first choice keeper while Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando, who was the third keeper at the World Cup in Brazil, could also get chances to start.

“This gives us a huge opportunity to see Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando going forward and fighting for the number one spot,” said Klinsmann.

“We have young talented goalkeepers with Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid, who have been brought along the last couple years, so this may give them a chance here and there to get some game time.”

Klinsmann said that after a “productive conversation” he understood Howard’s situation but made it clear that the keeper would have to fight to get his spot back.

“I told him as long as he is the same Tim Howard that we always see performing well, he will be welcome back with open arms and right back competing for a spot. He knows that he has to prove that he deserves to be back.”

Howard will be 39 when the next World Cup will be held in Russia in 2018.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami, editing by Gene Cherry)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.

in Entertainment

‘Empire’ co-stars spark romance rumors

gracegealey

Are Trai Byers and Grace Gealey more than just coworkers?

in Entertainment

Idris Elba could be the next ‘Star Trek’ villain

idriselba

The in-demand actor is in talks to join the star-studded cast of the sci-fi franchise.

in Lifestyle

Eyes on the road: AAA says distracted driving worse than we thought

driving

You know how some people insist they can drive safely — even while they fiddle with their smartphones or other electronic devices? They can't.

in Entertainment, Weird

Balki’s bills: ‘Perfect Strangers’ star owes $280K in taxes, mortgage payments

pinchot

Bank officials say actor Bronson Pinchot hasn't been heard from in over a year.