The Aston Villa goalkeeper says the American No. 2 can step into Tim Howard's role if needed, with manager Paul Lambert supporting the sentiment.FRISCO, Texas — Tim Howard's heir apparent in net for the U.S. national team is ready for the role if called upon, according to one of the most capped international goalkeepers of all time.
Speaking at a question and answer session with fans at Toyota Stadium ahead of a friendly pitting Premier League side Aston Villa against FC Dallas of MLS, Villa No. 2 Shay Given said Illinois native Guzan will be capable if Howard chooses to retire from international play prior to the 2018 tournament in Russia.
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"For Brad, it’s probably just keep doing what he’s doing," the former Ireland shot stopper said. "As the gaffer said before, he’s had two amazing seasons. I’m not sure if Tim Howard’s going to continue playing, but if he does then Brad will be pushing him hard to get into the team."
"International football’s a different style of football, different type of football," continued Given, who has amassed 125 international appearances. "A lot has to do with concentration levels at that level. You might’ve had little to do, and then you’ve got to make a save in the last minute to get your team through to the last round or to quality for a major tournament. Brad’s shown now over the last couple seasons he’s a top keeper and he’s ready to step onto the international stage now."
The aforementioned gaffer, Villa manager Paul Lambert, said he counted himself grateful to have Guzan and Given in his employ.
"Guzan’s been fantastic. The last two years I’ve been here, he’s been great," Lambert said. "I think [he's an important] part of the American team as you well know yourselves. I’m fortunate to have two top-class keepers here."