Keeper Guzan taking international role in his stride
Brad Guzan's USA are in action this evening and the Villa stopper is hoping for a chance to impress.
They face the Czech Republic in a friendly, their first game since goalkeeper Tim Howard - the most capped player in USA history - opted to take a year-long break.
Guzan has acted as a more than capable deputy to Howard and as the Everton stopper's sabbatical coincides with the USA's 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign next year, the B6 favourite will be hoping to feature on a more permanent basis.
Fans worldwide adopted the stars and stripes as their second team during this summer's World Cup in Brazil for their exciting, expansive football and although he did not feature in the finals, Guzan says he too enjoyed every moment.
He said: "It was fantastic. It's the biggest tournament in the world in terms of football but also everything in general.
"To be a part of an American team where the sport is constantly on the rise and growing is exciting because first and foremost you're a fan of the game.
"To see how it has grown in the last few years in my home country is fantastic.
"To be a part of that World Cup experience is truly an honour."
Since replacing the outgoing Brad Friedel in 2012, Guzan has become a key figure for the claret and blues and is widely regarded as one of the underrated stoppers in the Barclays Premier League.
He has conceded just one goal in Villa's opening three league encounters and has thrived playing behind Villa's new-look backline.
Despite being the obvious replacement for the outgoing Howard, manager Jurgen Klinsmann has expressed a desire to see a two-way fight between Guzan and Nick Rimando.
And, with the likes of Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson and D.C United's Bill Hamid coming through, the modest Guzan takes nothing for granted and insists he is focussing on his club form in order to earn an international place.
He added: "For me Tim (Howard) has been over here for 10-12 years so if I have been consistent for two years, he has been consistent for 10-12 years.
"You always want to be playing and in the team but for me when you are part of a World Cup team it is so much bigger than being an individual player.
"My job is to go week in week out and try to get better and help Villa get results. To be in the American team and be part of a World Cup team is an honour and a privilege.
"The World Cup is the ultimate experience. I've been fortunate to be involved in two of them now. Hopefully with a little bit of luck, come 2018 I'll be a part of a third and hopefully be playing.
"I've had some brief conversations with Jurgen Klinsmann before we left Brazil.
"It's a new cycle. Everything from here, and backwards, it's all behind us now. It's all about 2018 now. We've got a busy four years as a national team."
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