Guzan signs 3-year deal with Aston Villa, will compete for starter's job.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, July 17, 2012) -- American goalkeeper Brad Guzan signed a new three-year contract with Aston Villa of the English Premier League yesterday and will be given every opportunity to beat out Shay Given for the starting job.
Terms of the deal were not released, but reported to be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million per season.
Guzan said he was convinced to stay with Villa by new manager Paul Lambert. "I respected and enjoyed what he had to say and for me it was about getting a fair look in terms of making an impression on the team," Guzan told the Villa web site. "So, obviously, after having that discussion and knowing what this club is all about and how big it is and where he wants to take it, then for me personally to be able to get opportunities to make my mark, it was exciting. "After those conversations I was looking forward to coming back to the club.
Andy Marshall is also on the roster as a goalkeeper. "As a player, you just want a fair chance and an opportunity to make your mark," said Guzan, who joined Villa from Major League Soccer's Chivas USA in 2008. "We have some terrific goalkeepers at the club, so for me to be able to have that opportunity is all you can ask for as a player. That's what it's about. For me, it's an opportunity to come in and hopefully I'll prove not only to the manager, but the coaches and my teammates, that I can be counted on."
Guzanm 27, has pretty much been on the bench, backing up Irish international Shay Given, 36, for the past two seasons. When Given was injured, Guzan started and did well.
"I've watched Brad and some of his games when he was in the team last year and he was excellent," Lambert told the club's web site. "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.
"Brad played very well the time he was in and maybe he found himself a bit unlucky to be back out. The club needs two or three good goalkeepers, so we will see what happens."
Guzan will join the team in the United States for a tour against Major League Soccer clubs -- tomorrow at the Philadelphia Union, Saturday at the Chicago Fire and next Tuesday at the Portland Timbers.
U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra and midfielder Maurice Edu are now officially out-of-contract and free to sign with any team. New Glasgow Rangers owner Charles Green announced they are among a group of players he will not try to hold to their existing contracts with the pre-bankruptcy Rangers.
Actually, newco Rangers, as they are now called, could not have afforded their salaries given they will play in the Scottish fourth division.
Edu, who had a transfer to Sochaux of France turned down last winter by Rangers, has recently been linked with a move to Turkey. Bocanegra might well be headed back to France, where he played for Rennes (2008-10) and Saint-Étienne (2010-11).
U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who moved to Rangers last summer from Örebro of Sweden, was not among those named as free to move on. He currently is training with Rangers and could stay with the club, though his future is not clear.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones promises to cut down on the yellow cards after a season in which he seemingly being booked in every outing last season for FC Schalke. After being carded well into double digits and also serving a eight-week ban for intentionally stepping on the left foot of Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Marco Reus during a German Cup match, Jones said he plans on being limited to no more than one suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
"I am going to bet with our general manager Horst Heldt that I don't receive more than five yellow cards in the coming season," Jones told Kicker in German. "One suspension is OK, but not more. . . I can become cleverer and more often go into a race duel than resort to a slide tackle right away. . . In this league there are few who can run away from me."
In 21 appearances for the U.S. men, Jones was issued seven yellow cards.
Jeff Cunningham, MLS's all-time leading goal-scorer, had his short run with Comunicaciones of Guatemala end.
In 13 games, Cunningham found net four times, including the winner that clinched the Guatemalan clásico against Municipal.
Cunningham, 35, played for six teams in 14 MLS seasons, scoring 134 goals in the regular season and five in the playoffs.
Striker Chad Barrett of MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy , was not with the team when it traveled to Vancouver this past week. Instead, he was in Norway on trial with Valerenga, which is looking for a striker.
Barrett is looking to move to Europe and the Galaxy and MLS might be agreeable if the price is right.
Denmark's Superliga resumed play after a two-month break and American forward Conor O'Brien scored a goal for SønderjyskE, which defeated Randers FC 6-1.
American Charlie Davies, who signed with Randers a week ago, was dressed, but remained on the bench.
American defender Clarence Goodson went the distance for Brøndby IF, which fell to Odense BK 1-0.
American defender Michael Parkhurst, was out with a broken toe for Nordsjælland, a 4-0 winner over Horsens.
In the Norwegian Tippeligaen, American defender Josh Gatt scored a rebound for Molde in a 201 victory over Oslo Valerenga.
Gatt, playing on the right side, saw a rebound of Mattias Mostrøm's shot come straight to him in the 24th minute and he put it into an open net.
American Steve Clark was in goal for Honefoss in a 2-1 loss to Viking Stavanger, lost on a goal late in stoppage time.
Stabæk was defeated by Sogndal 3-1 on Sunday. American Sean Cunningham played 90 minutes at center back for Stabæk.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark had been playing for Stabæk and started 15 matches on loan from Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt. The loan was set to expire at the end of July, but now Clark and Eintracht have agreed to a parting of the ways, making Clark a free transfer.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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