Goalkeeper Howard to start in third-place game

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June 25, 2016
Tim Howard

GLENDALE, Arizona, (AP):

Tim Howard - remember him? - will be in goal for just the fourth time in five months when the United States play Colombia tonight for third place in the Copa America.

Howard started in his second straight World Cup two years ago and had 16 saves in the 2-1, extra-time loss to Belgium in the round of 16. He took a one-year sabbatical from the national team, then returned last fall and alternated with Brad Guzan. But Guzan, who started in last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup, also earned the job for this year's Copa America.

Guzan has started in nine straight games, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said yesterday that Howard will be in goal against Colombia "because he has been outstanding to help the team go all the way through in this tournament, helping Brad Guzan wherever he could, keeping the spirit very positive and pushing from behind."

Speaking to the media for the first time since Klinsmann picked him over Guzan in May, Howard was asked if it had been a long wait to get this chance.

"Uh, yeah," he said.

And he said it didn't matter to him that it was a third-place game against a Colombia team coming off a 2-0 semi-final loss to Chile. The US were eliminated with a 4-0 defeat to Argentina.

"It's not hard to get up for," Howard said. "It's the third-place game in Copa America. No one thought we'd be here, so it's exciting."

The 31st-ranked United States lost to No. 3 Colombia 2-0 in the Copa opener.

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