GUZAN NEARS NEW VILLA DEAL
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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, July 12, 2012
US national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan is close to a new deal with Aston Villa where he has played since leaving MLS in 2008.

Guzan, 27, has earned occasional minutes with Aston Villa in his four years there but has always been considered the team's backup keeper. He did have a brief loan to Hull City in 2011 where he was a regular starter.

Last month Aston Villa hired new head coach Paul Lambert who says that a new deal with Guzan is close.

"It's near," Lambert said of the deal.

Last year Guzan was the backup to first choice keeper Shay Given, 36, who struggled at the 2012 European Championships with the Irish national team.

Lambert says that Guzan will have a fair chance at overtaking Given this year.

" I've watched Brad and some of his games when he was in the team last year and he was excellent," Lambert said. "I know he's always had that stigma of being the number two behind some really good goalkeepers here. But when you come back at the start of the season nobody knows what's going to happen and it depends on whoever does well."

When the Premier League season was over, it seemed likely that Guzan would not return to Aston Villa after he reportedly did not accept a contract offer during the second half of the season. Villa struggled mightily last year after winning just one of their final 16 league games.

Lambert looks forward to having a solid evaluation of his goalkeepers this preseason.

"Brad played very well the time he was in and maybe he found himself a bit unlucky to be back out," Lambert said. "The club needs two or three good goalkeepers, so when Shay comes back from the Euros it will be a big bonus and we'll see what happens."
Ohana
Monday July 16, 2012 11:51 am
I'm not sure these guys care as much about the national team as the fans do. I think it's meaningful to them when they're called up and they do their best but I seriously doubt national team considerations drive their club decisions. At 27, Guzan realistically has at least 2 more 2-3 year contracts left. I think the mistake he would be making by staying at Villa is that he probably won't be the #1. He's going to perceived as a forever #2 GK in the EPL. He's better off risking a move to one of the better Championship teams in the hope that they promote and he hangs in the way that Brad Friedel did with Blackburn 10 or so years ago.
ICEMANofALFRED
Monday July 16, 2012 5:34 am
Well he had better make a decision soon or he's looking at a return to MLS and that surely isn't going to cement his position in the NATS lineup ... still a new coach might be a good thing, and he still will only be 28 this fall, so he has some time... but he needs to play regularly and a Championship team where he plays regularly is a damn site better for his career than riding the pine in the EPL
(ICE)
Pablo
Monday July 16, 2012 4:09 am
Probably not a good move. I'm guessing he had no other premier league offers to be a #1 and didn't want to move down to the Championship. Should have pursued opportunities in leagues outside of England. He needs to play regularly to solidify the #2 position on the NT. Hamid, S. Johnson, and MacMath are names for the future but I'm not sure I want them suiting up as the #2 for qualifiers, the Gold Cup next summer, or 2014.
Ohana
Saturday July 14, 2012 10:13 am
If Villa is his best offer, Guzan needs a new agent.
ben
Friday July 13, 2012 11:44 am
I hope he doesn't sign a long term contract that ties him up with villa. If he gets a fair shake at it and wins the starting job, then that is the place to be, if not he needs to find somewhere that will give him starting minutes. Villa may want some good goalies for back-up but Guzan needs to play.
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