Guzan named Aston Villa's Player of the Year

The American goalkeeper was honored by his teammates and supporters in gathering the top two individual awards at Aston Villa's end-of-season dinner.
American goalkeeper Brad Guzan was questioned when he elected to re-sign with Aston Villa leading into the 2012-13 season when it was unclear whether he would be handling the lion's share of minutes after four seasons of backing up Brad Friedel. Those questions sure seem foolish now.

Guzan beat Shay Given for the No.1 job early in the season, never looked back and was honored as Aston Villa's Player of the Year by both his teammates and supporters in scooping up the top two honors at Villa's end-of-season dinner on Tuesday.

Guzan beat the likes of young Belgian striker and 22-goal scorer Christian Benteke for the club's top individual distinction, playing a large role in maintaining the club's place in the Premier League. Villa is not safe just yet, sitting five points clear of the final relegation spot with two games remaining, but a two-game winning streak has the club in an advantageous position ahead of games against Chelsea and Wigan Athletic.

In 35 starts across all competitions this season, Guzan has posted six clean sheets and come up with a number of clutch saves to do his part despite playing behind a back line that has been under immense pressure and in flux for the duration of the season.

Guzan also played a significant role for the U.S. national team in March, stepping in for the injured Tim Howard, and guiding the Americans to a win over Costa Rica and a draw against Mexico in which he posted clean sheets in both matches.

Guzan joins Stuart Holden (Bolton, 2010-11) and Clint Dempsey (Fulham, 2010-11, 2011-12) as Americans to win a Premier League side's top individual honor in the last three seasons.

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