and DaMarcus Beasley
have agreed to return to the U.S. national team in the lead-up to the Oct. 10
Confederations Cup playoff game against Mexico. Howard took a year-long leave of absence from the national team and "accepted for the time being to be the No. 2," according to national team coach
. Beasley had previously come out of international retirement for the Gold Cup.
“I think we can be really thrilled to have Tim Howard back on
board,” Klinsmann told USSoccer.com,
“He took a year off because of family reasons and that was all fine for us. Now after the Gold Cup we had the understanding that we were going to talk on the phone, which we did at length. He
said he would love to come back. This is more great news for us.”
In Howard's absence, Brad Guzan
, his longtime backup, took over as the
starter in goal.
“He knew it was not going to be easy to come back because obviously Brad Guzan established himself as the No. 1 and played a very good [Gold Cup] tournament and the
whole year he really did a good job. Tim has accepted for the time being to be the No. 2, and then down the road there will be a fight for the No. 1 spot like in every position. He accepted that, and
we are really happy to have him back on board because of who he is and what he has done for us.”
Howard and Beasley will return for friendlies against Peru and Brazil in September.
Beasley played only briefly at the Gold Cup after joining the USA for the quarterfinals because of an injury. He gives Klinsmann the option to start him at left back and move Fabian Johnson
, who started at left back at the Gold Cup, elsewhere. Johnson was injured in Borussia Moenchengladbach's opening game of the Bundesliga season and will likely miss the
Beasley retired from international play last December but agreed to return to the U.S. squad for the Gold Cup.
“One of the most important
follow-ups after the Gold Cup was definitely a conversation with DaMarcus Beasley,” Klinsmann said.. “He made himself available for the Gold Cup and it didn’t work out the way we all
wanted it with his injury after the first training session. So we had that conversation and I asked him to reconsider the national team and he was all fired up. He was all proud and happy and he said
‘I’m there for the U.S. national team.'"
Beasley is the fifth-most capped U.S. player of all-time (122).
“It’s a big statement for us," Klinsmann said
of his return, "because not only is he a guy that’s important on the field with all of the qualities that he has, it seems like he’s not getting older at all, but he’s also extremely
important as a chemistry guy within the group. He’s always a positive thinker. He looks after young players. He makes sure that the energy level is high, so to have him back in our group for the
future is huge for us. Hopefully, it will be a long future still with DaMarcus Beasley with the national team.”