Gamecock alum makes final cut for US World Cup roster

ussoc-guzanSouth Carolina men’s soccer alum Brad Guzan was named to the final 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday. It will be Guzan’s second-straight World Cup when the U.S. opens its seventh-consecutive World Cup appearance against Ghana on June 16 in Natal, Brazil.

With Guzan in 2014 and 2010, Josh Wolff in 2006 and 2002 along with Clint Mathis in 2002, the Gamecocks have been represented on the last four U.S. World Cup rosters. Only UCLA boasts the same streak.

Guzan has solidified his spot as Team USA’s No. 2 goalkeeper behind Tim Howard. In 2013, the keeper backstopped three huge results in qualifying, notching back-to-back clean sheets against Costa Rica and the historic 0-0 draw against Mexico four days later. He then helped the U.S. to a 3-2 win against Panama in the final game of the Hexagonal. He has posted five shutouts in eight career World Cup qualifiers. Guzan has been with Aston Villa in the Premiere League since 2008.

After naming the preliminary 30-man roster on May 12, the U.S. began its journey two days later with training camp at Stanford University. The team will play a three-match Send-Off Series from May 27-June 7. USA vs. Azerbaijan on May 27 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco is the first in the series. Team USA then hosts Turkey at 2 p.m., ET, on Sun., June 1, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, before traveling to Jacksonville, Florida, to face Nigeria on June 7 at 6 p.m., ET, at EverBank Field.

The U.S. was drawn into Group G along with Ghana, Portugal and Germany for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and opens play against Ghana on June 16 at 6 p.m., ET, at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal. Next, the U.S. will take on Portugal on June 22 at 3 p.m., ET, at Areana Amazonia in Manaus before wrapping up group play against three-time World Cup champion Germany at Arena Pernambuco in Recife at noon.

Photo courtesy of US Soccer

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