Howard, Guzan and more - Ranking the USA's goalkeeper depth chart

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Once a position of extreme strength, the U.S. goalkeeper pool is in a state of flux, with an older generation still leading the way.

The goalkeeper position has long been one of strength for the U.S. national team, but recent years have seen void develop between generations, leaving the team with few options in the age range of mid-to-late 20s.

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Goalkeepers play at a high level into their 30s, and the U.S. has had to rely on that in the form of Tim Howard (37) and Brad Guzan (32), but Howard's injury in November and Guzan's status as a backup at Middlesbrough have exposed a gap, leaving Bruce Arena to spend January looking at new options.

Interestingly enough, it could be 37-year-old Nick Rimando who gets the call in the March, which gives you an even better idea of the need for some younger options.

Arena doesn't really have the luxury of using an inexperienced goalkeeper for the March qualifiers, but this summer's Gold Cup should be a good opportunities to give someone younger a run. There are some up-and-coming goalkeepers working their way up the ladder who could grab that chance.

Here is a look at the 10 goalkeepers currently at the top of the U.S. depth chart as we roll into 2017, and a closer look at the talent pool:

GFX USA Goalkeeper Depth Chart 2017

Though Guzan is second on this list, he isn't a lock to start in the March qualifiers. Arena could be forced to decide between a player in Guzan who hasn't seen much playing time and a veteran in Rimando who should be getting starts for Real Salt Lake.

Ethan Horvath's winter transfer to Club Brugge meant a considerable step up, but he has been a backup since arriving and his rapid rise could be halted temporarily if he can't get regular games.

Bill Hamid's latest knee injury was a brutal blow for a player who is talented enough to be in the top three if he could stay healthy.

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Stefan Frei isn't technically eligible for the U.S. national team just yet, but he should become eligible this year, and he's coming off an outstanding season with Seattle.

Sean Johnson's move to New York City FC could help him climb the ladder after a disappointing 2016 that saw him relegated to the bench with the Chicago Fire.

Two young goalkeepers to keep an eye on in 2017 are Zack Steffen and Cody Cropper. The former U.S. Under-23 national team goalkeepers will be competing for starting roles with the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution, respectively, and both are highly regarded prospects.

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