USMNT: MLS horror shows in goal raise concerns

It's not too early to think about the USA's two June World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad & Tobago in Colorado and Mexico in Mexico City that follow the friendly against Venezuela on June 3 in Sandy, Utah. Of concern, again, is the situation in goal, where the three keepers who suited up for the March qualifiers have endured a trying few weeks.

Tim Howard (MLS 2017: 3 GP, 2.00 GAA), who returned from a groin injury that required surgery and sidelined him for four months, started both games against Honduras and Panama but has played only game since then, a 3-1 loss at Sporting KC. Later the next week, MLS suspended him for three games after being involved in two separate incidents with Kansas City fans, during and after the game.

Howard has already served two of his three-game suspension and should have five games under his belt before the USA assembles for the Venezuela friendly. He isn't the problem at the moment, though.

Nick Rimando (MLS 2017: 7 GP, 1.66 GAA), who emerged as Bruce Arena's No. 1 from the keepers in the USA's January camp, left Real Salt Lake's 3-1 loss at home to Atlanta United in the second half with an injury, marking the first time since 2010 he had to be substituted from a match.

But the substitution followed two goals that came after errant clearances. On Hector Villalba's goal, Rimando's clearance went straight to Miguel Almiron at the midfield line. Rimando saved shots by Yamil Asad and Villalba's first attempt but couldn't stop the third shot. On the second goal, Chris Wingert's coughed up Rimando's pass and Rimando couldn't stop Almiron, leaving the Paraguayan free to lay the ball off to Asad.

The goals came three weeks after one of the biggest blunders of Rimando's MLS career. He failed to handle a ball outside his area, allowing Minnesota United's Christian Ramirez to walk in alone and score into an empty net for the third goal in the Loons' 4-2 win.

It's bad enough that one national team keeper has been struggling, but Rimando's problems are nothing compared to those of San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham (MLS 2007: 8 GP, 1.25 GAA). The most recent mistake: his failure to get to Eric Alexander's corner kick left Honduran Alberth Elis with an open net to put away his header for the insurance goal in Houston's 2-0 win.

Two days after being called up by Arena for the March qualifiers, Bingham scored one of the worst own goals in MLS history, turning a tame deflected shot by Soony Saad  into a Kansas City goal during the Earthquakes 2-1 loss. Saad’s strike was headed wide before it bounced between both Bingham’s hands and feet.

GUZAN UPDATE. Brad Guzan was expected to start if Howard was unable to go for the March qualifiers but missed the matches after his wife gave birth to their second child. He made his second straight start for Middlesbrough but just the fifth of the EPL season in a 4-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday. Guzan made several good saves early in the second half but couldn't prevent the rout that moved 'Boro closer to the drop.
15 comments about "USMNT: MLS horror shows in goal raise concerns".
  1. Kevin Leahy, April 25, 2017 at 7:50 a.m.

    Hamid has had a great start to the season. There are a half dozen better keepers than Bingham!

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 25, 2017 at 11 a.m.

    In the game against RBNY I thought Hamid could have done better on both Red Bulls goals.

  3. Mo youknow, April 25, 2017 at 8:13 a.m.

    I have always thought Hamid could be/would be our next great goalkeeper. Why doesn't this article mention him. Early on he showed some confidence/mental weaknesses but I think he has over come those.

  4. J Fox, April 25, 2017 at 8:14 a.m.

    I really like Ethan Horvath. He needs to be part of the discussion for the June qualifiers.

  5. Wooden Ships replied, April 25, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.

    Agreed. Horvath was superior in Colombia and may already command the box better than Howard. By commanding I mean positioning and seeing and communicating.

  6. E Velazquez, April 25, 2017 at 8:16 a.m.

    Rimando is too old, too short and should not be called again. B. Arena needs to think and see better or the fans will insist for a new coach. Ethan Horvath should be intensified as our next keeper. What do you think ?

  7. Ben Myers replied, April 25, 2017 at 11:56 a.m.

    Rimando is not noted for his feet. To be more specific, his composure with the ball at his feet and his ability to handle it. Keeper feet are an important component of the modern game.

  8. Daniel Clifton, April 25, 2017 at 9:12 a.m.

    I agree with the comments above about Hamid, Arena should give him a chance. It seems to me it is time to move on from Rimando. There is a wealth of talented young keepers. What about Johnson and Robles.

  9. Matt D, April 25, 2017 at 10:43 a.m.

    Agreed on Hamid and time to move on from Rimando. I like Horvath a lot as well and think he could definitely be the future but he's a backup keeper right now and not playing at Brugge. They brought him in as understudy to an old(ish - 34) keeper. Hopefully he takes the job next year.

  10. Ben Myers, April 25, 2017 at 11:55 a.m.

    Yarborough anybody?

  11. Kevin Leahy, April 25, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

    Not up for Yarborough personally. I could live with Horvath but, after Howard, they need to move on from Guzan, Rimando etc...

  12. schultz rockne, April 25, 2017 at 2:59 p.m.

    Ethan Horvath could--and should--be the answer...but he's been stuck at backup at Club Brugge--who are currently amidst the flamboyant Jupiler League 'playoff.'

  13. John Hofmann, April 25, 2017 at 3:33 p.m.

    Most of the comments throw out all sorts of names. The article message in contrast appears simply to be that the keepers who have been depended upon in recent times appear to all be having problems or suffering poor form, etc. The options being thrown out may be fine at some point, but important intangibles include high pressure national team experience - not meaning one or two games and then going into Mexico City...

  14. beautiful game, April 25, 2017 at 3:59 p.m.

    Lots of keeper opinions over meaningless gaffes which happen once in a blue moon Nothing to be concerned about. As far as the USMNT is concerned, the consistent field players are the key to its success.

  15. Nick Daverese, April 29, 2017 at 8:17 a.m.

    Parents send me videos all the time of their kids playing and asking me how I like them. One send me his kid playing in goal. I told him don't send me a highlight video. I want to see what he does through the whole game not just when he is making a save. Actually his over all game was pretty good. Except not enough catches on saves he could catch. Who ever his trainer was he did not use the ball as the cushion after the save is made. Don't do that you will catch the ball less on saves so your open for more quick second and third shots on goals. I also told him don't put music on the videos and try to be close enough so I can hear his field communication with team mates. i also don't want to hear him comment on his son. I told him if he must put music on it I like the Doors so use that music.

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