Former Gamecock in Goal for the U.S.


While the country is still buzzing over the US national team’s spectacular 5-2 victory over Japan to win the Women’s World Cup Sunday evening, the Men’s team is gearing up for its opening match in this summer’s Gold Cup.  After years of waiting his turn behind veteran Tim Howard, former Gamecock Brad Guzan will finally get his turn as the number one goal keeper for the US Men’s National Team.

Brad Guzan was the goal keeper for Coach Mark Berson’s Gamecocks during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.  He helped lead the South Carolina to the NCAA tournament in his sophomore season in Columbia, garnering 2nd Team All-America honors in the process.  He helped lead the Gamecocks to winning records in each of his two seasons in college.

Guzan was then chosen with the second pick in the 2005 MLS Super Draft by Chivas USA.  He played four seasons in America’s domestic soccer league, and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2007.  The next summer, the American keeper was transferred to English Premier League club Aston Villa, for right around a million dollars.  After sitting behind fellow American, Brad Friedel, early in his career in England, he eventually gained more and more playing time before taking over the starting spot permanently in 2011.  He has remained Aston Villa’s starter in goal ever since, and was even voted the club’s Player of the Year following the 2012-13 season.  He is recognised as one of the better goalies in the English league now, relying on his 6’3″ frame, quick reflexes, and agility to make even the toughest saves look routine.

The former South Carolina keeper has been entrenched in his role as the second choice in goal for the USMNT since 2006, behind the aforementioned Tim Howard.  He has started sporadically over the past nine years, including a 3-0 win over Egypt in the 2009 Confederations Cup and a historic 0-0 draw in Mexico City during the Qualifying round of the last World Cup cycle.  The shutout versus the rival Mexican national team was the first time the US had ever gotten a positive result in a competitive match inside the Azteca stadium.  With Howard taking time away from International soccer as he nears the end of his career, Guzan is now the man between the posts for the US.  He begins his first major tournament as the number one keeper Tuesday night against Honduras, as the Americans open up group play in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Guzan is the third of Mark Berson’s former players to move on to become an integral part of the USMNT.  Former striker Clint Mathis scored 12 goals in 46 appearances for the US, including a goal in the 2002 World Cup.  Mathis (1994-97) ranks third all-time on the Gamecocks career goals list and holds the single season record for goals with 25 in 1995.  Another former striker, Josh Wolfe (1995-97) also played for the USMNT, scoring 9 goals in his international career.