Jurgen Klinsmann says Tim Howard will be USMNT’s starting goalkeeper vs. Mexico

Tim Howard will be in goal for the United States when they take on Mexico on November 11 (live on FS1) in a crucial World Cup qualifier. Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed that the 37-year-old is now the Americans’ No. 1 in goal.

Howard had spent more than a year rotating with Brad Guzan as the team’s starter. The two would alternate starting, with the exception of at Copa America Centenario when Guzan got the nod, but that is no longer the case.

Klinsmann said that it came down to Guzan’s lack of playing time for Middlesbrough. Guzan joined Boro in the summer thinking he would have a chance to be the club’s starter, but he has been beaten out by Victor Valdes and the American hasn’t played a match for the team since August 28.

With Guzan not playing and not sharp as a result, Howard was the clear choice. He wasn’t in great form when he was at Everton in the spring and was dropped from the starting lineup — which was partly why Guzan started at Copa America Centenario — but his move to the Colorado Rapids in the summer has been huge for him. He’s their every match starter and has played well. He made some excellent saves in the Rapids’ penalty shootout win over the LA Galaxy in Sunday’s MLS Cup Playoffs tie and has his club one round away from the MLS Cup final.

Howard started each of the last two U.S. vs. Mexico World Cup qualifiers in Columbus, OH. He’s also started two World Cups, plenty of Gold Cups and that’s all on top of his experience in the Premier League. There is nothing he hasn’t seen so while he may not be as good as he was in his younger days, he’s loaded with experience and the clear cut best choice among goalkeepers on the roster.

Guzan will now serve as the team’s backup, with William Yarbrough and Ethan Horvath also on the team. That will also be the case on November 15 when the U.S. heads to Costa Rica for another vital qualifier.