Goalkeeper Brad Guzan (pictured) helped the USA to a fourth-place finish in the Copa America Centenario. (Photo: Victor Straffon/Straffon Images)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan suddenly finds himself thrust into the spotlight against host Costa Rica in a key FIFA World Cup qualifier to be played Tuesday night.
The 32-year-old, who came on for an injured Tim Howard during the 2-1 CONCACAF final-round loss to visiting Mexico on Friday, is expected to be charged with thwarting the Central American at the Estadio Nacional.
He said he is prepared.
“For me, nothing changes,” said Guzan. “It’s part of being a professional, it’s part of being on the national team. When your name and number is called, you’ve got to step into the team and do your best, be as good as you can and try to help the guys in front of you.”
Guzan, who backstopped the U.S. to a fourth-place finish at Copa America Centenario this summer, brings in an 8W-2D-1L qualifying record into the contest and has made 52 international appearances.
The Americans will try to break an eight-game losing streak in qualifiers played on the road against Costa Rica. They are 0-1-8 all-time here, with their only point coming in a 1-1 draw in 1985.
“We know it’s going to be hostile," Guzan expressed. "We know it’s going to be a hard place to go to, but in saying that, we know the ability we have in our guys. I think we showed at times, especially in the game on Friday night, that when we’re playing our best, we’re a good team. We’re going to need that for 90 minutes come Tuesday night.”
Although the U.S. could not have asked for two more formidable foes to start the Hexagonal. Guzan is optimistic.
“We knew we had two tough games before the games even started," he concluded. "We knew they’d be difficult, but in saying that, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. We know the result wasn’t what we wanted on Friday night and now we’ve got a chance on Tuesday to correct that.”