Europe

Tim Howard Leaving U.S. National Team

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tim howardIt is not a full retirement, but a reassessment. A decision made by a player entering the last stages of his soccer career. After having a standout 2014 World Cup, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard has taken the decision to break from the U.S. national team. The U.S. Soccer association announced the decision by Howard. The veteran goalkeeper said family had become a bigger priority for a professional soccer player who has played most of his career abroad.

Howard said that after 12 years playing overseas and missing out on many things with his family, making the commitment at this time to his family was important.

The decision will take the Everton goalkeeper out of international consideration through September of 2015.

Howard, who is 35, will miss at least 8 friendlies and the Gold Cup next summer held by CONCACAF.

When Howard returns, his spot as the starting goalkeeper will not be guaranteed. The starting goalkeeper now will be Brad Guzan who plays for Aston Villa in England. However, Howard is fine with that.

He said Jurgen Klinsmann the national team coach is up front with every player saying you must earn your spot. He agrees with Klinsmann’s rule and looks forward to returning in the fall of 2015 to compete for the starting position in goal.

Since there is a date of return, it should assuage any notion that it will lead to international retirement, although Howard with a full year off international duties might find life different from what it was like prior to debuting with the U.S. national team 12 years ago.

Over those 12 years, the former keeper for MetroStars and England’s Manchester United has accumulated 104 caps for the U.S. He has been the starting keeper for the U.S. in the past two World Cups.

He has had very few breaks, traveling frequently between Europe and the U.S. to fulfill his commitments with the U.S. team.

Klinsmann said he respected Howard’s decision and understood his situation completely. He said as long as Howard is at the same level and performing well like the Howard of today, then the team will welcome him back immediately and he can compete for a spot.

About David Campbell

David makes his home in Guatemala and follows the worlds greatest games from there. David contributes on all leagues across the world and had over 25 years experience. He has covered 10 World Cups and will do so again this year in Brazil.

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