On Friday, word came across the pond that longtime US national team No. 1 Tim Howard has a pair of broken bones in his back, likely ruling him out of a pair of World Cup qualifiers later this month. The first is March 22 in Denver against Costa Rica, with the second four days later down in Mexico City.
It feels a bit like an injury crisis for the Yanks, even though it's probably not. The US, after all, have two good, veteran choices for the spot: Aston Villa's Brad Guzan and Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando.
One's the heir apparent; the other is arguably the most accomplished 'keeper in MLS history. But which one of them is the better fit?
Time for The Big Debate.
|The Argument||Guzan is the man for the job||Vote Rimando 2013!|
|The Defense||He's 3-1-1 in five career World Cup qualifying appearances. He's got big-game experience in an international setting – remember the 2009 Confederations Cup? It was him, not Howard, who threw that shutout vs. Egypt to get the US into the semis. And most importantly, he's got "continuity" on his side. Guzan has been groomed for this moment for more than half a decade, and if there's one thing the Yanks have always done right, it's identify 'keepers. Guzan is the latest in a line going back almost 25 years. There's no reason to throw a wrench into the whole process now.||
He may not have the international pedigree Guzan does, but he has one thing the ex-Chivas USA man doesn't: minutes. Lots of them. Rimando has been a consistent starter for his club team for nearly his entire 14-year career and still performs like a man 10 years younger. What he lacks in stature he more than makes up for with his athleticism and a preternatural ability to make himself bigger than his 5-foot-9 frame would have you believe. His play often reminds you of another guy they used to knock as undersized: Iker Casillas. You may have heard of him ... and his warehouse full of shiny trophies..
Who do you agree with? Let us know in the comments below.