Where are we with our goalkeepers going forward

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by LouisianaViking07/09, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    Are we weaker at the moment? Or is this simply just an average period and the last decade or 2 with Keller, Friedel, Howard, Hahneman, Guzan was an abberation in terms of our footballing ability? Are the likes of Horvath, Hamid, Bingham, Cropper, Steffen enough quality to keep us secure in the goalkeeping department? Do we need those guys in some top Euro leagues or is MLS good enough for our next great keeper?

    Guzan's our no.1 for now until someone takes it from him. And it doesn't seem like Hamid or Horvath are anywhere near ready for that. Probably more likely for Guzan to lose the spot due to his own inabilities.

    I'm surprised Howard hadn't retired for good after Belgium. To go from no1 for 8 years and then retired (which I'm sure Guzan was happy for) and then left battling with his runner-up for that no1 spot again. Howard is still good enough to play for us but with his move back to Rapids he def just isn't the Star he was circa Belgium 2014.
     
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  2. PhillyandBCEagles

    Jul 9, 2012
    NC
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Hamid is our best keeper at the moment IMO when he's healthy....which unfortunately seems to be almost never. Steffen has Howard/Friedel type potential but is a few years from entering his prime. If we had a coach who knew the meaning of the word "meritocracy" we'd have 3-4 guys even this late in the game with a legit chance to be the starter in Russia...as it is I'll be shocked if it isn't Guzan (and nothing against him, I'm higher on him than many, but Hamid when healthy should be our #1)
     
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  3. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    We're in a low point as far as the guys in goal compared to the last couple decades. Basically we've been on a good run with Keller/Friedel and the Howard. Guzan is simply a step down from those guys at their peaks and he's the most accomplished we've got right now. Until someone else steps up, we're going to have to accept that we're weaker in goal than anytime since the mid/late 90s. I think since our goalies were always a step above our field players, people expected this to always be the case, but now I think we are stronger in other areas (central defense for example) than we are in goal. No way to tell if this is the new normal or not at this point.
     
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  4. 6 ft. Leprechaun

    Dec 9, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the perception of Hamid's injury history is a little overblown. Most likely because it seems like his injury period overlaps with the international fixture windows. He has had a history of missing about 25% of available club games for the past handful of years. It's not something you want to see in your keeper.
     
  5. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    The job should be open to anyone at the moment given that Howard is aging out and Guzan is probably unlikely to win the starting job at 'brough. I could see Klinsi staying with Guzan based on resume, though.
     
  6. ChuckMe92

    ChuckMe92 Member+

    Jun 23, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think Klinsmann rates Hamid much. I don't agree with that, because I think he's a good keeper who deserves to be one of the top backups, but he's received only 2 total caps in what's now 5 years of Klinsmann. While that's more caps than any of Horvath, Yarbrough, or Bingham, those three weren't with the USMNT until last year or this year, while Hamid has been there since the beginning of Klinsmann's reign.

    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal before the Copa America, JK specifically called out Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson, essentially saying they had disappeared. In another pre-Copa interview, with Sports Illustrated, JK specifically said Hamid and Johnson did not develop the way he had hoped. In yet another pre-Copa interview, with US Soccer, he specifically praised Ethan Horvath, William Yarbrough, and David Bingham as keepers who have a bright future. JK clearly rates Horvath in particular, based on naming him to the most recent Copa and WCQ squads despite being only 21, likely based on playing in Europe (even if only Norway) and Europa League performances. So for better or for worse, I don't think we'll see Hamid or Johnson with the USMNT in the future outside of MLS-only January camp cupcake as long as JK is manager. (I actually agree with JK that Johnson has busted, but don't agree on Hamid.)

    Here's what I'm guessing the current USMNT keeper hierarchy is in Klinsmann's mind:
    1. Guzan
    2. Howard
    3. Horvath
    4. Yarbrough
    5. Bingham
    6. Rimando
    7. "Didn't develop the way I hoped" (Hamid, Johnson, Cropper, Horton, etc., and possibly Steffen)
     
  7. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    We have a good crop of CBs, so we'll manage and go from keepers making monster saves to keep us in competition against strong team, to our defenders standing on their heads to save our hide.
     
  8. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Oregon
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #8 olephill2, Sep 4, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
    I agree with others who have mentioned that we still have good keepers, but we're in a period now where our premier goalkeepers aren't on a level above our field players nor are they the top-level difference makers we had in Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller in their primes.

    Brad Guzan is a good keeper and I'm comfortable with him, but he isn't at the same level as the previous three. Tim Howard can push Guzan for the next couple seasons and is a very serviceable #2, even at his age. Nick Rimando is still playing at a pretty high level as well.

    Bill Hamid is a wonderful shot stopper and in my opinion is still young enough that he could challenge and supplant Guzan if he strings together a few healthy seasons and plays well. I still hold high hopes.

    I'm excited about Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen - they are two for the future. Horvath has looked good with the U-23s and with his club, and Steffen was a beast in the U-20 World Cup last summer. These guys are only 21, which, for a goalkeeper, is very young.

    I don't find the rest of our pool to be particularly inspiring as potential difference makers at the international level. Guys like Luis Robles, William Yarbrough and David Bingham are alright, but I'd rate them in the same talent level as guys like Matt Reis and Kevin Hartman in their primes - pretty good club goalkeepers for the MLS / Liga MX level, but not the guys you want as a #1 or #2 for a top-2o ranked national team.
     
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  9. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Hamid has easily been the most in form USA keeper the last few years. He deserves a chance to be our starting keeper this cycle, and should be in contention for the starting spot for at least one more cycle after this one, unless his play drops off. He could be a NT keeper for the next 10 years, if given a chance to establish himself. There's also reason to think that at age 25 as one of the best players in MLS, he could be a really high level keeper in a better league.

    Guzan is very average right now. He had that one great season at Aston Villa, and since then hasn't been anywhere near as good. He's an okay back up, makes you a little nervous knowing he can make a big mistake at any time, but we could have worse back ups. This was supposed to be his cycle as the starter, and he had his chance, he just hasn't done well enough. He should compete for a back up spot the rest of this cycle, and might have a chance to compete for a back up spot next cycle as well. If he reverts back to his form in that excellent season he had at Aston Villa, he could become a starting level keeper again.

    Howard's level has dropped off, and he's almost surely in his last cycle with the NT, but I think he's still an okay option. Right now, I think he's our second best keeper after Hamid. I'd give the other options (Hamid, Guzan, Horvath, etc.) every opportunity to claim the starting spot for this cycle because its not ideal to have a 37 year old starter, but if we qualify for the WC, and the other keepers mentioned have gotten a chance to claim the #1 spot, and haven't done a good enough job, maybe you go back to Howard as the starter towards the beginning of 2018 for the end of that cycle, as long as he's still playing at around the level that he is now.

    Horvath is very young for a keeper. He's 21 years old. He could become more consistent in a few months, it could be a few years, it might not happen. We don't know when it will happen. Most of the high level keepers find their consistency in their early-mid 20's. I'd give Horvath low-importance matches with the NT for now, and hope he finds consistency at the club level in the next few years. If that happens before the 2018 WC, he should be in contention for the starting spot. If not, he's a consideration for the 3rd keeper spot, depending on if we take a young keeper for that third spot or not.

    The others for this cycle are Bingham, Yarbough, Deric, Seitz, Johnson, maybe Steffen or Cropper, and there's always the possibility that a young goalie emerges quickly. I think Bingham is a really quality 5th option after those first five. He's more than capable against most CONCACAF opposition, and he's shown big improvements in the last year or two. Yarbrough and Johnson are hit or miss. Sometimes their form is really good, others its not. Both have gotten NT call ups though and can play really well at times, so they are considerations for the team. Deric and Seitz have both improved a lot, but aren't really in the NT picture yet. Maybe they get a call up in the next few years, maybe not, but they are two of the better MLS keepers right now. Steffen and Cropper could be possibilities, if they become starters for their MLS teams, and play well. Also Jesse Gonzalez could be a possibility, if we get him to switch to the USA.

    For future cycles, I think we'll continue to have good keepers. The U-20's have a number of good keepers. None that have stood out that much yet, but a number of good options who could turn into the next very good keeper prospect in the next few years. Steffen was more highly rated than Horvath at this point last cycle, Horvath wasn't even that highly rated. Fast forward two years, and Horvath's our best GK prospect, so its hard to know for sure. At the lower levels, no definite stars, but barring a Donnarumma type of talent, its really hard to identify future goalkeeping stars any lower than like 17, 18, 19. We do have good goalkeepers at the U-17 and U-18 levels though, so some could turn into very good goalkeeper prospects.
     
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  10. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    I think if Guzan came back to MLS, folks would realize that he's the best keeper in the pool right now. I have a hard time evaluating an MLS player versus an EPL player. Take Hamid to the Premier League and how would he do against that level of competition? I have no clue. Nobody else does either. I mean, in Guzan we're talking about an "in-his-prime" keeper with 175 Premier League starts under his belt. He may not be as good as Keller/Friedel/Howard, but those are high, high standards.

    With Guzan the #1, we'll be fine thru WCQing. If a younger option starts challenging him for the spot, that would be great. That's what we want.

    Right now the pecking order is obvious to me.

    1) Guzan
    2) Howard: A valuable backup. Declining, but still playing at a pretty high level.
    3) Horvath, Hamid, Bingham, etc. One needs to jump up and separate himself from that pack.

    Our goal should be that for the 2017 Gold Cup, one of the younger keepers excels and passes Howard for the #2 role. That keeper can then start an assault on Guzan for the top spot. January camp is gonna be huge for Hamid. He's gotta make his case to Klinsmann.
     
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  11. ChuckMe92

    ChuckMe92 Member+

    Jun 23, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Absolutely agreed. Based on recent statements by Klinsmann, Hamid is not even top-5 on the GK depth chart in Klinsmann's mind and is possibly on the verge of falling out of the MNT picture, so he really has to make an impression this January to have any hope of changing that. Last January camp, Hamid couldn't make it because he was hurt, which allowed Bingham to impress Klinsmann, and eventually get named to the March WCQ squad and the Copa preliminary squad.
     
  12. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Its pathetic if Klinsmann can't watch MLS matches, and needs to see Hamid play in an offseason camp, which he probably won't even get minutes in, if he's called into. I assume those minutes will go to Howard, and if another keeper gets it, probably Bingham or Rimando before Hamid.
     
  13. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    what does JK have against Hamid? or is Hamid just getting injuries during the most inopportune time for himself?

    Horvath seems a solid no 3 at this moment. Needs to be called up more to get familiar with everything.

    Howard to me is a dependable number 2 and def pushes Guzan but really Howard seems to be channeling Keller (toward the end of his time). Simply called up but lost that no1 spot a while back.
     
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  14. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    It all depends on Klinsmann.

    Previous US managers took risks on untested young goalkeepers. Once they proved themselves by winning ~10 US caps in a year, then European clubs suddenly became interested. Imagine that.

    If Klinsmann takes a risk, then good things will follow if that goalkeeper does well and isn't short.
     
  15. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Klinsmann was quoted in an article earlier this year calling Hamid a bust, which is scary to think that he has such a lack of knowledge about our player pool that he'd call the most in form US keeper the last few years a bust.

    Klinsmann wants to distance himself from the 2012 Olympic qualifying team that didn't qualify for the Olympics. Among the players on that team were Hamid, Villafana, Kitchen, Agudelo. Four players that deserve a chance to earn a spot on the NT, but have gotten minimal or no chance under Klinsmann. Look for him to do the same thing with the 2016 Qualification team. He'll likely want to place the blame on that generation, instead of himself. He is a master deflector.
     
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  16. juveeer

    juveeer Member+

    Aug 3, 2006


    Yet one of those players started on Friday and a couple of others that played or were eligible are in the lineup or were in the call-up team.

    Coaches rate players on a lot of different things and they are entitled to their POVs. We don't have all of the info they have about various players, but why, if Klinsi and his staff actually rated the guys you list, wouldn't he call them up? Do you think he wants to fail?

    He explained Kitchen, and he has been called in in the past as has Hamid and Agudelo, who is coming off a stream of injuries. As others have pointed out Hamid has had injury issues as well.

    Villafana is a player who plays a position of need, so if he was rated by the coaching staff, why wouldn't they call him in? He did play at youth level so it isn't like they staff doesn't have a somewhat informed opinion on him.
     
  17. TheLostUniversity

    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Feb 4, 2007
    Greater Boston
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's a college keeper, at Berkeley, Jurgen is keen to have a look at..........:coffee:
     
  18. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Actually, none of the players on that team were called up to this roster for WCQ. What he's done is try his best to make it seem like the players that failed to qualify weren't that good, so he shouldn't take any blame for not qualifying. He can't completely ignore all the players born in 1989, 1990, 1991 or 1992, especially considering they are mid 20's players right now, so what he does is he calls in bad players that obviously aren't good (Birnbaum, Alvarado, Zardes, Morales) to help prove a point about that generation. He thinks the uneducated fans will buy into the Klinsmann propaganda about this generation. I suspect Wood was part of that group a few years ago, but he's actually improved a lot. The others he's called in from that generation are German-Americans who I think he prefers to non German-Americans (Chandler, Williams), other dual-nats who might've played for another NT had they not been capped quickly (Nagbe and Johannsson), and Altidore who was a NT regular before Klinsmann even got the NT job, so he wasn't dropping him.

    You can try to make excuses for Klinsmann, but his approach has failed. He's done a bad job as NT coach, so I have no confidence that he's a good coach to be picking NT rosters. I don't trust his motives, I don't trust his ability to identify talent, and I don't trust that he puts in the hours scouting our player pool.
     
  19. juveeer

    juveeer Member+

    Aug 3, 2006
    Somehow, I think he has a look at him rather frequently....
     
  20. juveeer

    juveeer Member+

    Aug 3, 2006
    Didn't Acosta playa against Colombia? Yedlin and Brooks were both eligible. Wasn't Arriola also on that roster at some point?

    You try to criticize everything Klinsmann does. I get it you can't stand him and want him gone, but these sort of posts are irrational.

    Why on earth would a National Team coach ignore players he and his staff know well, and have called up and played at youth level as recently as a few months ago, if they rate them? Especially in positions of need like LB?

    Please give me a rational reason why this would be so?
     
  21. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    In my post, I was talking about the 2012 team, but yes, I do believe the same thing will eventually happen with the 2016 team once they reach a similar age. In 2012, we didn't have an Olympic qualifying playoff team, since we didn't have a playoff. I suspect the blame will go mostly to the original qualifying roster instead of the playoff roster. Notice how Acosta wasn't on that team, neither was Arriola. Brooks and Yedlin weren't going to take the hit for that team. They were already important NT players before the team failed to qualify, and didn't play any part in the failed qualifying campaign. They are in a similar position to Altidore was in last cycle.

    Horvath has gotten called up from that team to the NT a few times, but he's not played yet. After the failed qualifying campaign, Klinsmann gave Hamid (and Johnson) a number of call ups, but neither really got much of a chance to compete for regular minutes before he eventually just decided it was time to tell the press they weren't very good, so he discarded them, despite Hamid doing a very good job in MLS. If I was to guess, Miazga, Trapp, Horvath, Polster, Hyndman, Zelalem, Steffen are some good candidates to take the fall from that team.

    As to your question about why he would ignore good players, I think you are naive to think Klinsmann's aim is only to improve the NT. I don't think he'd mind if we improved and he got credit for it, but I think his primary aim is to keep an easy job with little pressure from his boss where he makes a lot of money and can work out from where he raises his family. His propaganda campaigns work because our sports public is still largely uneducated about soccer, and our soccer journalists are more worried with currying favor to get some info in the future than holding Klinsmann and Gulati accountable for the lack of progress and lack of attacking football.

    Klinsmann is not dumb. I think he's actually very smart, and getting back to the topic of this thread, when he makes a decision to tell the press that Bill Hamid has not progressed, he knows that very few people will take objection to it, with most of them being a number of MLS watchers who know that Hamid has been one of our most in form players at the club level in recent years. A lot will buy into what he says because we do still have a rather largely uneducated fan base, and he'll get very little pushback from the journalists. Villanfana's situation is one where he was on that qualifying team, so that works against him. It goes contrary to the message Klinsmann's trying to send to give him a proper run-out. He knows that Villafana isn't the next Donovan or Dempsey or Howard, at best he's the next Besler or Cameron or Gonzalez, he could be a good starter for a number of years, but Klinsmann can still achieve what he wants to without the Villafana's or Hamid's getting NT minutes, so he has to weigh how to balance getting results that are good enough to keep his job and sending out messages that help the narrative that the last few generations have been very poor, and he's not working with much talent.
     
  22. juveeer

    juveeer Member+

    Aug 3, 2006
    WOW!

    I get it. To you, Klinsi is a combo of every Bond villain rolled into 1! What an evil genius he is!


    "...Actually, none of the players on that team were called up to this roster for WCQ. What he's done is try his best to make it seem like the players that failed to qualify weren't that good, so he shouldn't take any blame for not qualifying...."

    That has nothing to do with the 2012 team. You are discussing the roster for THIS WCQ!
     
  23. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    anyone watch or follow the Norwegian league enough to critique Horvath's performances or how he's rated in that division?
     
  24. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    For me I hope to see Guzan, Horvath and Hamid for the 2018 WC

    If Howard is starting for the 3rd straight WC, I just don't know if that says any positivity about us.
     
  25. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    If he's starting at WC18 its because he's still kicking ass in MLS and the USMNT in the run-up.

    It's all about trust. Guzan should be the #1 thru the cycle (if things go like we all want them to). Then its just about who the coaching staff would trust to bring into a crucial game if Guzan isn't available. Does the staff trust Horvath or Hamid right if we had a WCQer tomorrow? Probably not. Its probably still Howard. So we'll just have to see if Horvath, Hamid, Bingham, or whomever can prove to the staff that they deserve that role over Howard.
     
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