Maybe U.S. soccer fans won’t be hearing anything about a Mexican “goaall” next weekend as the U.S. team will include a star goalkeeper returning to the game after taking a break to spend time with his family more than two years ago.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard is among 16 players from the U.S. team who played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup who will be on the roster in next Saturday’s inaugural CONCACAF Cup against Mexico at the Rose Bowl.
Howard has not played for the U.S. since making a World Cup-record 16 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in a round of 16 game on July 1, 2014.
In August 2014, Howard asked to take a break from his duties with the national team so he could spend more time with his family.
Following discussions with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, it was announced Howard would not be considered for selection for the U.S. roster until September 2015.
Howard was part of the rosters for exhibition games against Peru and Brazil last month, but did not play in either game.
Other members of the 2014 World Cup team on the 23-player roster announced Saturday for the CONCACAF Cup include midfielder Michael Bradley, forward Clint Dempsey, defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Fabian Johnson and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
The roster includes two players with ties to Southern California — goalkeeper Nick Rimando, a former UCLA and Montclair High School standout and a member of the 2014 U.S. World Cup team, and forward Gyasi Zardes, a Los Angeles Galaxy forward who was a standout at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale.
The U.S. team consists of 12 players who play in Major League Soccer, seven who play in England, two in Mexico and one each in France and Germany.
“This roster is obviously full of experience,” Klinsmann said. “This is about having a group of players who understand exactly now what this is all about.
“This is about momentum. This is about high energy. This is about representing my country. This is about belief and a high-level of aggressiveness in a one-off game.”
The winner will be the CONCACAF representative in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, a tournament played every four years in the year before the World Cup in the host nation of the World Cup.
The eight-team field in the Confederations Cup consists of the champion of each of FIFA’s six regional federations, the reigning World Cup champion and the host nation, which in 2017 will be Russia.
In April 2013, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, soccer’s governing body for the region, announced the split of the region’s berth in the Confederations Cup between two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, assuring both editions of the region’s national team championship in each four-year cycle have the same importance from a competitive perspective.
The U.S. won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while Mexico won the 2015 edition.
— City News Service