U.S. MNT's Guzan, Torres Back in the Fray for Italy Trip
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has reached out to goalkeeper Brad Guzan and midfielder Jose Torres for the team’s upcoming trek to Italy. Guzan has not been with the U.S. squad since 2010, while Torres is coming back from a foot injury in September of 2011.
The U.S. Men’s National Team announced its 21-man roster on Thursday as the group prepares for a Feb. 29 match against four-time World Cup champion Italy in Genoa (2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN3, Galavision). U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann included a couple of not-so-regular faces in the mix as goalkeeper Brad Guzan and midfielder Jose Torres have garnered opportunities for this fixture.
Guzan, a backup goalkeeper at Premier League side Aston Villa, is joining the U.S. Men for the first time since 2010. That year, Guzan started in three of four matches played, logging 315 minutes and a 1-1-1 record. But on the National Team level and at Aston Villa, Guzan has seen only sporadic playing time since his loan at Hull City at the start of 2011.
“This was a good opportunity to show Brad that the door is always open and to get him back around the team again,” Klinsmann said. “It’s still important that he gets in a situation where he is playing consistently.”
Guzan debuted for the USA in 2006 and had started in at least one match for a five-year stretch. He served as a backup to Tim Howard during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and he last played during the USA’s 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010, at the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
Guzan, Howard and Nick Rimando make up the goalkeeping corps for the team’s current trip to Italy.
Torres saw immediate playing time for the U.S. when Klinsmann took the reigns last year. Torres earned three consecutive starts in 2011 – the first three matches with Klinsmann at the helm. But a bone fracture in his left foot kept Torres out for the rest of the year and forced him to miss the rest of the Apertura season. The 24-year-old Pachuca midfielder is healthy again, returning to the pitch with his club team in early January, and Klinsmann is giving Torres a look in Italy.
“We’re happy to have Jose back,” Klinsmann said. “He’s a very creative player, very calm on the ball and a great passer. He brings a different dimension in the midfield.”
Torres has earned 14 caps with the U.S., first debuting as a second-half sub in a 6-1 victory against Cuba on Oct. 11, 2008, in World Cup qualifying at RFK Stadium.
The U.S. midfield against Italy includes Torres, Hoffenheim teammates Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones, who captained the USA’s 1-0 wins against Venezuela on Jan. 21 and Panama on Jan. 25.