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Tim Howard “will make himself available” for USMNT selection against Peru; Still unquestioned No. 1?


United States’ goalkeeper Tim Howard, left, deflects a shot by Belgium’s Kevin Mirallas during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Will the Gold Cup end Brad Guzan’s reign as the USMNT’s top goalkeeper?

We’ll find out, as former No. 1 Tim Howard is ending his international sabbatical and has told U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann he’s available for selection come roster time for the Sept. 4 friendly against Peru.

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Howard reiterated in June that his plans hadn’t changed, and now he’s made it public once again. He wants back into the frame when September rolls around.

From the Associated Press:

“That is the plan,” Howard said in an interview on Everton’s website Wednesday. “I spoke to coach (Jurgen) Klinsmann and we have had open lines of communication as recently as last week.

“We will speak again after that tournament (the Gold Cup) finishes and I will make myself available for selection. We will see where we go from there.”

Howard, who has played for his country 104 times, said the break has motivated him to pull on the U.S. jersey once again.

“I have missed it. It was a tough decision to make. It has been a good break, but all it has done is really fuelled my fire. I have missed the boys, the competition and playing in front of the U.S. fans.”

Will Klinsmann plug Howard right back into the No. 1 spot? Guzan’s had some strong games in the Gold Cup, which will make it tough for Klinsmann, but it’s not like the Aston Villa netminder has spent the year laying unquestioned claim to the job. U.S. fans’ last real memory of Howard in red, white and blue is his “Neo-from-the-Matrix” performance against Belgium’s bullets.

Do you think the job is open? Can anything happen in the semis and final to put Guzan past Howard? Or is he already there? It’s hard to think Howard won’t get his shot to come back as No. 1. He communicated with Klinsmann before his sabbatical and would’ve been sure to avoid the steps that tarnished Landon Donovan in his coach’s eyes.

Follow @NicholasMendola