Brad Guzan to start for U.S. in World Cup qualifiers

The 28-year-old goalkeeper gets the starting nod with Tim Howard out with a rib injury, ending all talk of Brad Friedel's possible return to the national team
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann ended speculation that goakeeper Brad Friedel could come out of international retirement Wednesday after saying he has "total faith" in longtime backup Brad Guzan.

The 41-year-old Friedel had tossed out the idea of rejoining the national team for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico after regular starter Tim Howard broke his ribs last week.

But Klinsmann indicated that he will start Guzan, who backed up Howard at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando will serve as Guzan's backup.

“We haven't looked into [Friedel's return]," Klinsmann told the press after the Gold Cup press conference in Chicago. “It's a nice comment by Brad. Obviously he's a great guy, but we have total faith in Brad Guzan now as No. 1 for Costa Rica and the Mexico game, and also with Nick Rimando being his backup."

Guzan, 28, joined Aston Villa's starting lineup this season after spending four years as the Premier League club's No. 2 goalkeeper. He played three seasons at Villa with Friedel.

Guzan hasn't appeared in a U.S. game since coming off the bench in a friendly against Scotland last May and hasn't started for the national team since November 2010. He has 20 national team appearance.

“We have one thousand percent faith in Brad Guzan, that's why Brad was our backup all the time," Klinsmann said. "He's No. 1 at Aston Villa, he's playing high level football week-in, week-out. We're not worried about that situation at all. We're confident we can give Costa Rica a really good game next week.”

Rimando wasn't called up for February's Hexagonal opener against Honduras after missing the January camp with a shoulder injury, but he has played well for the U.S. when given the opportunity. The 33-year-old last appeared for the U.S. in a friendly in Panama in January 2011, which marked his sixth cap.

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