The goalkeeper pool, on form, looks like less of a depth chart and more of a blob. The veterans aren’t exactly continuing to prove utter dominance over the pool, but the younger keepers in the pool haven’t done enough to warrant a changing of the guard just yet. Sure, the U.S. might benefit in the long run by just making the swap at goalkeeper and entrusting the position to someone other than Tim Howard or Brad Guzan, but competitive matches against Mexico and Costa Rica isn’t that time.
And so we’re left with a fairly predictable goalkeeping situation as far as a depth chart goes. Does it match the form of the pool? Not exactly, but that’s rarely the case anyway. As always, grades given are based on player form, and are not necessarily an indication of my ranking or any sort of depth chart prediction.
Tim Howard - B+
Howard is the most likely candidate to start against Mexico and Costa Rica, based on Jurgen Klinsmann’s reliance on Howard and Brad Guzan (and Guzan’s failure to touch the field as of late). Howard is coming off of a very solid game against the Galaxy, although a Gio Dos Santos header deflected into a looping shot over Howard’s head and into the back of the net. The header would’ve gone in the opposite corner without the deflection, but getting chipped by Dos Santos in LA surely doesn’t bring back any good memories.
Brad Guzan - D
Guzan’s move to Middlesborough over the offseason was met with optimisim initially by many U.S. fans, but Guzan has been mired on the bench ever since Victor Valdes returned from early-season injury. Guzan is still one of Klinsmann’s top keepers, but the complete lack of playing time is killing his chances at taking back the #1 (and #1.5) spot he’s enjoyed over the past two years with the U.S.
Ethan Horvath - B+
Horvath is still Molde’s top keeper and still making the saves he needs to make. In a game more exciting for Josh Gatt’s first goal in almost three years, Horvath made four saves and kept the clean sheet. The Tippeligaen isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but to lock down the starting spot so consistently at 21 years old is still impressive. Add that to a solid showing against Cuba, and Horvath should have a roster spot secured for the Hex.
David Bingham - C+
Couldn’t make up for San Jose’s impotent offense enough for the Quakes to make it into the playoffs. While San Jose only allowed 40 goals on the season, they scored a league-low 32. Bingham has been good to very good in MLS play, but in his big showcase against New Zealand, he didn’t look convincing between the sticks.
William Yarbrough - C+
Similarly to Bingham, Yarbrough is perfectly passable at Club Leon and is maintaining his starting position, but his penchant for punching crosses back into play instead of catching them was on full display against New Zealand, and it made for plenty of nervy moments.
Bill Hamid - C+
Mr. 6th or 7th on the depth chart, I believe, is superior to the next two keepers above him, but wasn’t able to show it against New Zealand or in the MLS playoffs. He played very well for a resurgent DC United at the end of the MLS season, doing his “single-handedly dragging DC to success” thing again. He couldn’t make up for the shambles that was DC’s back line against Montreal, however, to the tune of a 4-2 defeat. While Hamid was more of a victim than perpetrator on most, he might want Matteo Mancuso’s header back.