It took eight years but it looks like Brad Guzan's patience has finally paid off.
When the United States takes on the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Guzan, an Evergreen Park native, will patrol the net for the Americans instead of national sensation and arguably team MVP Tim Howard, who said earlier this week that he was planning on taking a year off to be with his family.
“Obviously, with Tim stepping away from the national team for a little bit, it’s an opportunity that is quite big,” Guzan told The New York Times. “It’s an exciting time not only for myself but for other goalkeepers. I just want to do my part to show myself to the staff and the coaches that I can be counted on.”
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Guzan, 29, isn't new to the spotlight. The Aston Villa goalie stepped in for Howard in 2013 when he had to sit out with a back injury. Guzan posted two clean sheets against Costa Rica and Mexico, giving US fans a sense of security.
Guzan started his career with the Chicago Fire Premier (formerly called Chicago Fire Reserves), which is a part of the USL Premier Development League. He was then drafted in 2005 by Chivas USA and earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2007. Shortly after, Guzan transferred to Aston Villa in the Premier League.