Call it baptism by fire. Brad Guzan’s first year as a professional was with an expansion team, perhaps the worst team in the history of MLS. The highly touted Goalkeeper who had an excellent College career at the University of South Carolina but many thought may not have a national team future after his first season. But since then he has bounced back in a big way, culminating with the MLS Goalkeeper of the year award for 2007.
On CSRN’s, Chivas USA show this week, hosts Peter Brown and Graham Bell along with Christian Miles spoke to Guzan about his future and for the first time Guzan discussed how exciting a prospect playing in Europe would be. After attending the Sevilla-Arsenal Champions League match and soaking in the atmosphere he realizes his future lies becoming the latest American Goalkeeper to star in Europe.
Top European clubs have a very different view of Goalkeepers than they do of field players who come from MLS or are American. After all Tim Howard started over 40 matches for Manchester United, Brad Friedel played for Liverpool and has starred for Blackburn and Kasey Keller has been successful in multiple stops across Europe. Heck, even Mike Amman and Ian Feuer were thought highly enough of to play at a high level in England, while Joe Cannon and Zach Thornton got opportunities on the continent.
Guzan, whose athleticism and quick reflexes have been on display for the US National Team in its last two friendly matches away from home is as close to a sure thing to be successful at any top European club. Now that he is taken in by the atmosphere and pageantry surrounding European Football, why can’t Guzan be yet another American trailblazer in Europe?
I have no doubts that Guzan will be successful and will fit right in sooner rather than later as a top goalkeeper in Europe. Another American goalkeeper of his stature can only help further break down the biases of many in the European press towards all things Football from the United States.