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A few minutes with Tim Howard

U.S. World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard said Wednesday that his rib injury has left him sore but "when you get on the field and your mind is on the game, it takes away from the pain."

Howard is expected to start Friday against Slovenia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

"The rest [time] is going to be huge, but we're just trying to flush the area, get the swelling out," Howard said of the injury below his right arm. "I am kind of looking forward to those [pain-killer] injections, actually."

He never underwent X-rays or an MRI exam, he said, and "it doesn't feel like [there are any fractures] at the moment. Not knowing is probably better, but if the docs and the medical team felt like I needed it, I would certainly do it. But at the moment, I don't think it is" broken.

His only concern in the days leading to the Slovenia match is "if I have to go full stretch -- and I am hoping I don't -- and end up landing on it too hard, it might set me back," he said. "But we've got plenty of padding and plenty of ideas on how to stop that. I won't be stupid with it -- at least I don't think I will be."

Responding to Slovenia midfielder Andrej Komac's declaration of victory Friday, Howard said: "Talk is cheap. He has got to stand toe to toe and they have got to stand toe to toe with us for 90 minutes. If he is still standing, I will take my hat off to him. A lot of boxers talk too and they're looking up at the lights, and next thing you know, they are trying to figure out how they got there. That means nothing to us. We know they are probably feeling confident after getting three points, and rightfully so."

Much more.....

Assessing Slovenia's opener against Algeria, he said: "It was a weird game because it was early in the day and a little bit all over the place. There wasn't a ton of possession."

What did he think of Maicon's impossibly angled shot against North Korea last night?

"There was a moment in the Confederations Cup [last year] where he did the same thing to me and I almost got caught cheating. I ended up blocking it and falling into the goal. It's a no-brainer for him because, if he hits it as hard as he can, like he did, he can catch you out, and if he mis-hits it and tops it, he puts it right back into the mix. He definitely meant it and it's a tough play" for a goalkeeper.

You might have noticed the American players, during the national anthem Saturday, with an arm extended onto a teammate's shoulder.

"We feel like brothers and we feel a camaraderie," Howard said. "There are not a lot of egos on the team and we wanted to bring that sense of brotherhood out. It will stick for a while."

Finally, did you know that Howard, one of the finest goalkeepers in England's Premier League, doesn't even like playing that position?

"I don't like being goalie. Even now, I don't. I don't enjoy games. I never enjoy playing in games. I enjoy the buildup sometimes, and I certainly enjoy afterward. But it's way too intense. I'd like to play out in the midfield -- holding midfield -- breaking up play and passing it to the more talented guys."

So now you know.

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: American soccer, Tim Howard, World Cup  
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Americans: Such great goalkeepers that even though we don't care for it, we're among the best in the world.

Posted by: Pete803 | June 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

As long as we're all sharing our dreams, I always wanted to sing the lead in 'Pirates of Penzance'.

And of course, to Direct...

Posted by: JkR- | June 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

oh snap he just called michael bradley 'less talented'

Posted by: joe_hill | June 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Ricardo Clark is the 'more talented' guy?

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Vamos Espana! :-)

Straight to the toilet

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse


I've sung the lead in 'Pirates of Penzance' (chose theatre after realizing I didn't have the stamina or speed for soccer) so my dreams are Tim Howard's dreams....

Posted by: BaltoFan | June 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow, first upset of the tournament and a favorite at that.

Posted by: delantero | June 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people will cry "Anti-Football won and beautiful football lost."

The Swiss showed discipline and the Spaniards showed inefficient football.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Our Torres has as many goals as their Torres, and ours never got off the bench.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Spain just couldn't finish. It is important to get the earlier goal. Lets hope our strikers have their shooting boots on because Slovenia is going to play for a tie tomorrow.

Also, I was unconvinced with Spains starting 11 today. Alanso and Sergio both play to conservative for my liking. I would have gone with Pedro from the start for Sergio and moved Inestia centrally.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I do not think a tie benefits Slovenia as some assume. If the US ties Slovenia and beats Algeria, we have 5 points. Slovenia then would have to tie England to also earn 5 points. As unlikely as that is, a three-way tie (assuming England and US beat Algeria) would be decided first by goal difference. Slovenia should not be confident that it's one-goal margin against the Algerians would hold up.

Posted by: gmoore1 | June 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

And by tomorow I meant Friday.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Who would have thought you would hear trash talking from a Slovenia forward in the World Cup?

Wow, you beat Algeria 1-0.

I guess after the US the Slovenian is looking to take down Brazil in the Round of 16.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | June 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey now, don't look past Slovenia in any way. They beat Czech Republic and Russia out of their qualifying group to be here. The Czech's kicked our butts in WC06 and just a few weeks ago, and the Russian team is no pushover either.

Yeah, yeah, it wasn't our "A" team against the Czechs in May, but I wouldn't want to face them on Friday, much less a team that beat them out in qualifying.

Posted by: WorldCup | June 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Separated at birth: Chris Rock and Robinho

Posted by: GeneWells | June 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow... someday when I realize that I don't like lots of things about my job, I'm going to remember what Tim Howard said, and think "he's making an a**load more money than me," and feel like a goat.

Then I'll quit and go start an artisanal sauerkraut haus and fromagerie, and darn socks for my children in my spare time while my wife pounds her computer keyboard in the background as she works on her latest work projec.

Posted by: Modibo | June 16, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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