Philly Sports Live

USMNT: Tim Howard to miss Hex Matches with Injury



US Men’s National Team keeper Tim Howard will miss at least the next two world Cup Qualifiers, as the injuries he sustained in last week’s FA cup replay between Everton & Oldham proved more severe than first thought. Howard sustained two fractured bones in his back after colliding with Oldham striker Robbie Simpson during a particularly high challenge by the Englishman. Though he finished out the match, with Everton advancing to the next round of the competition, he is not expected to be able to play for at least four weeks, and possibly as many as eight.

This injury comes at a particularly poor time for club and country, as Everton has an upcoming quarter final match against Wigan, as well as upcoming league matches against Manchester City and Stoke. The US has two upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, home to Costa Rica March 21st in Commerce City, Colorado, and then away to Mexico March 26th in the Azteca. After a Hex-opening loss to Honduras, when Howard served as captain, the Yanks will be looking for at least three points from the pair of games, a task suddenly made incalculably more difficult with the loss of their first choice keeper. The Americans were already expected to be without Landon Donovan & Captain Carlos Bocanegra. Injuries to Mayor Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey may see the US forced to field their youngest starting eleven in a qualifier since 1989.

Despite a strong start to the season, with a victory of his former club Manchester United coming only a few days after captaining the national team to a historic victory in Mexico, Howard has recently suffered through one of the worst runs of form in his career. He is expected to be replaced at Everton by Slovakian Jan Mucha, while USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann will almost certinly look to long-time understudy Brad Guzan, who has been in rare form at Aston Villa after beating out Irish number one Shay given for the claret and blue’s starting spot, but has played only 19 minutes for the National Team over the last two years.

Stick with Philly Sports Live for continuing coverage of the US Men’s National Team.