Brad Guzan Profile
|Born||Sep 09, 1984|
|Birthplace||Evergreen Park, Illinois, United States|
Despite often playing second fiddle to fellow countryman Brad Friedel, when given the chance, Brad Guzan showed he was just as capable in goal.
Guzan has also played for Chicago Fire Premier, Chivas USA, Hull City and Middlesbrough, in addition to winning 64 caps for the USA national team. Much of his international career was spent in the shadow of former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was usually the first-choice USA goalkeeper. Nevertheless, Guzan made sporadic appearances at major tournaments.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa
Guzan rose to prominence at Chivas USA, playing Major League Soccer for them from 2005 to 2008. In November 2007, he was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
On July 11, 2008, Aston Villa secured the services of Guzan for a reported fee of around $1million subject to him acquiring a work permit, which he received on August 1, 2008. However, the club also signed Guzan's compatriot, Brad Friedel, who made the position his own during the 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons.
Guzan made his debut in the League Cup against Queens Park Rangers in September 2008. His performance in a 1-0 November UEFA Cup win over Slavia Prague saw him receive praise from manager Martin O'Neill who described Guzan as a "class goalkeeper in the making".
Guzan's Premier League debut came in less than ideal circumstances - a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, with Brad Friedel's red card forcing Villa to look towards their second-choice goalkeeper. Friedel later successfully appealed against the decision to send him off.
Villa finished sixth in the Premier League in 2008/09 and again the following season before O'Neill stepped down as manager.
Arguably Guzan's greatest game under O'Neill was the 2009/10 League Cup last-16 match against Sunderland, which went all the way to a penalty shootout but saw Guzan make four fine saves. Villa qualified for the final of the tournament, which they lost 2-1 against Manchester United.
In 2010/11, Guzan spent much of the season on loan at Hull City, where he featured more regularly than at Villa.
He continued to play second fiddle at Villa in 2011/12, this time to Shay Given. His contract expired at the end of the season, but he was subsequently handed a new one by the club.
Villa had been in decline in the years leading up to this and Guzan's contribution to the team under Paul Lambert proved vital as the club narrowly avoided relegation, earning him their Player of the Year award.
In a shock 3-2 victory over eventual champions Manchester City early in the 2013/14 season, Guzan picked up a remarkable assist for Andreas Weimann, with Lambert praising his goalkeeper's distribution skills.
Late in the 2014/15 season, Guzan once again lost his starting spot to Given, with Tim Sherwood dropping him after a costly error gifted a goal to Sergio Aguero.
Guzan nevertheless featured regularly in the ill-fated 2015/16 Premier League campaign, which ended in relegation.
Guzan reaveled in Sports Illustrated that he and his family had suffered emotionally during the trying season and had a difficult relationship with supporters. He cited one interaction with a theme park employee which appeared to affect his wife. The employee was a Birmingham City fan, but expressed frustration on behalf of his Villa-supporting friends, while personally taking delight in Villa's struggles.
"You understand the fans' passion and you understand their loyalty to the club. You understand their disappointment. We understand that. And again, they then have the right to express that frustration," Guzan said.
"Sometimes in some ways it's better than others, in terms of in certain ways as opposed to not-so-great ways. And being over here you understand all that and that's part of what makes English football, English football. Some individuals express their disappointment better than others."
After the end of that campaign, he joined Middlesbrough, enjoying one last Premier League season in 2016/17 before moving back to the USA with Atlanta United.
Brad Guzan and Atlanta United
Guzan hit the ground running with Atlanta United, keeping eight clean sheets in 14 appearances during the 2017 MLS season. His save percentage of 79.2% was the highest in the league.
Guzan won the MLS Cup with Atlanta United in 2018 as they beat Portland Timbers 2-0 in the final.
He made his 100th appearance for his new club during the 2020 season. In February 2020, he signed a contract extension which tied him to the club until 2023.
"Brad has been one of the top goalkeepers in MLS since joining our team in the summer of 2017 and we are pleased to have agreed to a long-term contract extension," Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.
"Brad epitomises the type of professional player we want at Atlanta United, and as a key member of the US men's national team.
"We hope to see him represent our club at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He's thoroughly deserved this extension and we look forward to him anchoring our team for years to come."
Brad Guzan and the US national team
Guzan became part of the US national team set-up in 2006. In 2007, he was part of the squad which won the CONCACAF Gold Cup and he went on to pick up another 10 years later.
In 2009, he started in a 3-0 win over then-African champions Egypt during the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. USA went all the way to the final, where they lost to Brazil.
Guzan is a devout Christian and wrote on the athlete testimony website Beyond the Ultimate: "My personal life, my faith life and my sport life - they all come together. I think they have to. You don't have one without the others, and you have to have Jesus in your life.
"That is how I get through my personal life, how I get through my professional life - following Christ. He helps me through the tough times. It hasn't always been a rosy road to success, and there are always going to be bumps along the way. Jesus helped me through all of those struggles."
Guzan is of Polish-American descent.
Brad Guzan's net worth
Guzan had a base salary of $680,000 with Atlanta United during the 2019 season as per the MLS Player Salaries database.