By IVES GALARCEP
Though he is half a world away in England recovering from broken bones in his back that have kept him out of the upcoming U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers, Tim Howard still felt compelled to address the state of the team after scathing allegations emerged from a Sporting News article released on Tuesday.
Howard took particular issue with the pictured painted by the article of a divided team, a team separated along cultural and ethnic lines (the story suggested that there is a split between German-American players and the rest of the team).
“Our team has always been made up of players who come from different backgrounds, which has been a source of strength for the group,” Howard told SBI on Wednesday. “No matter where players are from, the pride in wearing the U.S. shirt is the only thing that matter to us.
“We have a great group of guys who are all committed to the cause, and the morale and the camaraderie remains high,” Howard said. “We are completely unified in our ultimate goal, which is to qualify for the World Cup.”
The U.S. takes on Costa Rica on Friday before traveling to Estadio Azteca to take on Mexico on Tuesday. Brad Guzan is set to start in goal for the U.S. in place of Howard, who suffered broken bones in his back after a hard fall while playing for Everton in the FA Cup earlier this month.