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Tim Howard in doubt for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Mar 8, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT

Tim Howard-August

I am no doctor, but I know that “two broken bones in his back” cannot be a good place to start any conversation about such an important man to Everton and to the United States national team — especially when it concerns the team’s longtime, trusty guardian in goal.

Tim Howard appears to have a fairly significant back issue and will miss at least a month. That’s terrible news for Everton, which is having such a great season and remains positioned to claim one of the European tournament spots for 2013-14.

Over here, it’s also distressing news, because that puts Howard out for the United States’ national team’s pair of World Cup qualifiers. The first is two weeks from today in Denver against Costa Rica; four days later the United States meets bitter border rival Mexico at Azteca.

So it looks like this will be Brad Guzan’s time to shine.

Guzan, as we keep saying, is having a great season despite the goals flying in around Aston Villa.

Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando is the third-choice ‘keeper for U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, now presumably promoted into the No. 2 goalkeeping chair.

  1. the0verheadwire - Mar 8, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Man that sucks for Tim. But after seeing last Monday’s game against city, Guzan saved two sure goals with the tips of his fingers and showed he’ll be a great guy to step up to fill the void.

  2. valiantdraws - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Yeah, it’s bad news, but not really…we have two really fine keepers in Guzan and Raimondo, both of whom I have complete faith in. If there’s one position the MNT is 100% strong in, it’s keeper.

  3. soccerjohn - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I read that the bones are not weight-bearing and that pain was the only issue. The only bones in the back that I can think of that would fit that description are in the coxxyx, which (I think) is essentially a vestigal tailbone–a few bones at the end of the spine. I’m hoping that’s all it is. I bruised or broke my coxxyx as a kid (they didn’t bother with an x-ray because the treatment was going to be the same either way) and it just made sitting uncomfortable for a while. If it was anything more serious, I’d worry about the long-term effects on a keeper who’s getting on in years.

    • pctrips - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      I read somewhere that is was a couple of rib bones in the back. That would explain the non-weight bearing and only having to deal with the pain. Still probably a stretch to think he’d be ready for Costa Rica. I don’t think there will be much of a drop off with Guzan.

  4. tylerbetts - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Guzman I have faith in. Having a good season. Playing out of his mind at times. No worries about his talent and ability.

    I am much more worried about communication and leadership. We had those breakdown in Honduras. And that was with Timmy. Throwing another new face in there is a bit scary.

    Now, we just wait for a CONCACAF ref to give a bogus yellow to Bradley and send us to Mexico without him, too.

    • mvktr2 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:47 PM


      I think Clarence Goodson needs to be called into this group as cover for the young CBs and I’d make sure to pair a vet (Boca) with Cameron or Gonzo especially with Howard a no go and absolutely for going into Azteca.

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