Brad Guzan earns clean sheet for US National Team at Estadio Azteca in World Cup qualifier

Ben Hoskins

Coming into tonight, the US Men's national team had kept just two clean sheets at Estadio Azteca, with only one of those coming in a competitive match. Is it any real surprise that Brad Guzan was responsible for a third?

Just three days after holding Costa Rica scoreless in a match that is very quickly becoming legend among supporters of the US national team, Brad Guzan went and outdid himself against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, making several of the kind of world-class saves to which we've become accustomed en route to a much-needed 0-0 draw, giving them their second-ever point in a World Cup qualifying match in Mexico. Some USMNT feared that the back injury to Tim Howard would spell doom for a team in a great deal of flux with just over a year until Brazil, but those people clearly haven't been watching Brad Guzan this season.

A defense anchored by MLS youngsters Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler (both of whom [especially Omar--please Villa, sign Omar] would look quite nice in a Villa shirt) kept Guzan from having to do much for the majority of the game, but as the clock ticked along and the US tucked in, Big Brad (yep, he's now Big Brad) took over, turning aside a late barrage of corners and preserving the clean sheet for the US.

In Aston Villa land, there have been three stories this season that don't make the majority of us want to cry: the emergence of Christian Benteke (which may very well make us want to cry in the near future), the emergence of Andreas Weimann, and the emergence of Brad Guzan. For reasons that are likely pretty clear to anyone that is aware of my nationality, it's that last one that's been the most fun for me to watch unfold. Brad Guzan is an absolute world class keeper now and there aren't that many people that would deny that at this point. It's been a pretty choppy ride, but man oh man has the payoff been worth it.

Here's to you, Godzan. Can't wait to see you rep the Villa in Brazil.

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