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Tim Howard cleared to play for USA in World Cup

Exhale, American supporters, for goalkeeper Tim Howard is just fine and should be in the starting lineup against Slovenia on Friday at Johannesburg's Ellis Park.

According to the U.S. Soccer Federation:

"After a physical examination this morning, the medical staff has determined there is no need to conduct additional testing on Tim Howard. He continues to make substantial improvement and is expected to be available for the match against Slovenia."

X-rays and an MRI exam were not necessary for further evaluation of the bruised ribs suffered in the first half of the England match. Barring late complications, he will resume training with his U.S. teammates Tuesday in Pretoria.

By Steve Goff  |  June 14, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: American soccer, Tim Howard, World Cup  
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Watching the Slovenia-Algeria match, it became obvious that we can definitely beat Slovenia, even if the bunker, with one major obstacle: The goalkeeper. Howard is his match, not sure our backups are.

Now, there is no excuse.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 14, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

As we were leaving the pub Saturday night, I told my wife if we have another son, we are naming him Tim Howard.

Actually, if we have a daughter, we are naming HER Tim Howard.

My wife has started telling our sons to eat their veggies, drink their milk, take their vitamin so they can "grow up big and strong like Tim Howard"

The guy is a warrior -- if he can breathe Friday I have a feeling he will be on the field.

Posted by: amcalabrese | June 14, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

great stuff amcalabrese!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 14, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Calabrese, by acclamation, we're going to call you Tim Howard from now on - not that faker in goal for us in SA.

Posted by: mmathai | June 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"After a physical examination this morning, doctors for the team's health insurers determined that because no ribs were protruding outside Tim Howard's skin, no further tests were covered under the team's insurance plan. Out of an abundance of caution, they did run a trained (correspondence M.D., University of Phoenix) hand over his rib cage to confirm that everything was fine. Coach Bradley was told, 'Your plan don't cover no stinkin' machines.'"

Posted by: OWNTF | June 14, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF, why'd you have to politicize this? For the record, NOBODY needs an MRI for a rib injury. You don't even really need x-rays. Unnecessary testing is one of the reasons health care is so expensive in the US.

Posted by: Peejay | June 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Politicize? Where?

Some oversensitive people around here lately...

Posted by: Reignking | June 14, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Actually, what happened was the doctor said, "There are no protruding ribs outside the skin" and Tim Howard replied, "Well, I can play then."

Posted by: bethinkr | June 14, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Tim Howard - ribs of steel.

Posted by: tcbannon | June 14, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Robert Green - hands of jelly

Posted by: Reignking | June 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Phew! Big sigh of relief. The Beast is back!

Posted by: VAreader | June 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Is Tim Howard half alley cat or something? Some of the plays he made were fantastic and even more impressive with painful bruised ribs.

Posted by: KoThaByu | June 14, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Actually Tim Howard is the result of top secret US genetic engineering, we would tell you more but then we'd have to kill you;-) Calabrese, I was already planning to name my future son Tim Howard. You know how in the Nike "Write the Future" ad all those babies had "Wayne" names, they got the right idea, just the wrong name:-)

Posted by: USAsoccergirl | June 14, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse


Great news. Though I am waiting for the soccer blog mathematicians who calculate as thus..."anything less than a 100% Gooch must not start against England and I estimate him at 80% at least because he did not start agaisnt Australia".

While we're at it, can BB get some love for tactically dealing with Capello and his world champions?

Sorry I had to politicize the post.

2010 - Believe. USA! USA! USA!

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 14, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Tim Howard is not only a great keeper, but has emerged as the heart of US team with his leadership by example. I hope the team follows his lead.

Kosh2 I disagree completely with BB getting tactical props!
His substitutions were late and lacking. By 60th minute, we needed Torres and Edu in midfield to help maintain possession (for Bradley and Clark)!
We were losing momentum and BB did nothing to turn that around. He had a sub coming in with .08 seconds left in extra time? How's that for managing the game?

Our boys earned the point the hard way... little thanks to BB


Posted by: dayface | June 14, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Why was the first Mexico goal disallowed when there was a defender on the goal line and the ball was headed before the keeper got to it?

Posted by: gerald829 | June 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Because the Mexican player was closer to the line than any part of the keeper's body, and the keeper was the relevant player, not the defender on the line.

It was a crystal clear correct call. The absolutely shocking thing about it was that neither of the ESPN announcers appeared to have a clue what the rule actually says.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

gerald829, The player that is receiving the pass must be behind two defenders when the pass is struck. In this particular case the goalkeeper was off his line and Vela was behind him. The only defender that Vela was behind was on the goal line. Since the goalkeeper had moved forward before the headed pass to Vela, Vela was offside.

Normally the goalkeeper is one of the two defenders that keep a player onside, but this was a somewhat rare situation where the keeper was not keeping him onside.

Posted by: stephen_james2 | June 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Also, after the announcers did not appear to know the rule, Alexi Lalas in the studio explained how it was clearly the correct call. I guess some commentators have not seen it before and did not know the two defender rule since most of the time we take it for granted as the keeper is almost always one of the last two defenders.

So far, knock on wood, I have agreed with just about every critical call in this world cup. It seems that the red cards have mostly been due to player stuidity than anything this year.
Hopefully, the USA does not get screwed by the refs/FIFA like against Italy and Ghana in 2006. I just want to see a clean game and a fair chance to compete!

Posted by: stephen_james2 | June 14, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I missed the Vela offside call live, but as soon as I saw the replay, I thought it was crystal clear that it was the correct call. I was extremely surprised and disappointed that the ESPN commentators didn't get it right even though their fancy graphics were showing them it was, in fact, correct.

Posted by: mason08 | June 14, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Great news! Now if we could only get rid of both Bradleys!!!

Posted by: mikey11 | June 14, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Translation: Tim Howard has a broken rib but we will not x-ray it and make it official.

Posted by: tundey | June 14, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hahnemann is better than the Slovenian goalkeeper. In fact according to the Castrol figures he's the #1 keeper in all of Europe:

Posted by: WillyHSmith | June 14, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse


That substitution attempt in the last second was a little odd. I couldn't really see when the player was sent out to sub. My guess is that he was waiting there for a minute or so before play stopped and the referee waved for the substitution to happen.

Had play stopped a little earlier, this actually might have been a savvy move on Bradley's part. He was happy with how the players on the field were doing, but a substitution in injury time effectively would have trimmed 30 seconds or so off of the English attacks.

Maybe that substitution 20 minutes earlier would have helped, but it's also possible that even with fresh legs, the sub would not be as effective on defense as the starter. Once into injury time, Bradley wasn't really making a strategic substitution so much as a time-wasting one. That, at least, was my take on it.

Posted by: blert | June 14, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

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