You shouldn't have been surprised by Ethan Horvath's inclusion in the United States' Copa America squad. The 21-year keeper has been excelling with Norwegian Tippeligaen club Molde, leading them to the knockout stage of the Europa League.
Although Horvath was unable to will the U.S. U-23s to victory in the Olympic qualifying playoff series against Colombia, he impressed Jurgen Klinsmann who referred to the Colorado native as one of the "biggest hopes for the future" at goalkeeper.
Positives: Being included is an indication off how highly the young goalkeeper is rated. Klinsmann could have opted to go with a "glue guy" like Nick Rimando or another sometime call-up like William Yarbrough.
Negatives: He didn't play. I don't know if that's a negative, but let's pretend it is so I have something to say here.
Copa Grade: My fifth grade teacher had a policy of not failing anyone. She would always say, "Well, you showed up," and assign a D or C- grade depending on how much she liked the particular student.
I'll be a little more fair to Horvath and give him a solid B. He did everything he was supposed to do.
Horvath needs to continue to have strong performances for Molde. Unfortunately, he won't get the opportunity to showcase his abilities against "bigger" competition in the Champions or Europa for a while, but that's fine. He's a young goalkeeper getting minutes with his club. Eventually, there will be opportunities for a move to one of the name brand leagues, but that's not important right now.
It's doubtful that Horvath will be displacing Brad Guzan anytime soon as the USMNT's starting goalkeeper. His main focus should be securing one the back up spots against players like Bill Hamid and Yarbrough.
Bill Reno of Everybody Soccer did a scouting report on Horvath, laying out his strengths and weaknesses:
His stance is typically very even and his jumpset is impeccable. It is because of his sound mechanics that he can overcome his average athleticism to make an extended save. He is set in time with the shot and can move his body in the most optimal way to cover ground. Additionally, he's never trying to force a play. Instead, he is trusts his skills to time the play and react as necessary. So he'll sit back on his line waiting to make a save, like Brad Guzan often does. Even in 1v1 situations, he'll still play very passive.
One never knows what will happen in the future, as soccer can be a cruel and confusing game. Horvath could be a flash in the pan or the next great American goalkeeper. What we do know is that he currently has the eye of U.S. Soccer and is playing at the club level.