US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann will be able to count on two longtime USMNT stalwarts for the team's upcoming friendlies against Peru (Sept. 4) and Brazil (Sept. 8), as U.S. Soccer announced Thursday that Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and Houston Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley will be called up for the games, which will serve as preparation for the 2017 Confederations Cup playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10.
Howard, 36, will return to the national team after a one-year hiatus from international play following a standout performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“I think we can be really thrilled to have Tim Howard back on board,” Klinsmann told Ussoccer.com. “He took a year off because of family reasons and that was all fine for us. Now after the Gold Cup we had the understanding that we were going to talk on the phone, which we did at length. He said he would love to come back. This is more great news for us.”
Klinsmann did clarify, however, that Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan remains the first-choice starter after holding that role in Howard's absence and backstopping the USMNT during the 2015 Gold Cup.
Beasley, 33, retired from international play last December, but returned to the squad after Klinsmann approached him about playing for the US in the Gold Cup knockout stages. An injury suffered in training kept him from all but the final 30 minutes of the third-place playoff vs. Panama. That game was billed as a sendoff for Beasley, who has 122 caps for the USMNT and has represented his country in four World Cups, but both he and Klinsmann indicated that they'd be open to extending his national team career.
“One of the most important follow-ups after the Gold Cup was definitely a conversation with DaMarcus Beasley,” Klinsmann said. “He made himself available for the Gold Cup and it didn’t work out the way we all wanted it with his injury after the first training session. So we had that conversation and I asked him to reconsider the national team and he was all fired up. He was all proud and happy and he said ‘I’m there for the US national team.’”