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SPRING 20109As a professional everyone wants to play, you want to help your team be successful, that's why you play the game," says Guzan. "But it's pointless getting frustrated about not playing regularly, part of being a goalkeeper is to make sure you're ready when the call comes."So the 25-year-old accepts he'll have to wait for his chance, but he also sees this period as an important time in his development."Being a relatively young goalkeeper it's important for me to use this time while not playing week in week out to better myself," reveals Guzan. "As a goalkeeper you may only have to make a few saves a game so a big part of goalkeeping is your mental toughness." It could be some time before Guzan gets his chance on a regular basis. Despite being 39, Brad Friedel remains as consistent as ever; he recently set the premiership record for consecutive appearances."Working with Brad on a day-to-day basis means we have developed a really good relationship on and off the field. "It's a great relationship and I'm lucky to have somebody to help me understand the English game and what it takes to play year after year at such a high level." The World Cup is now firmly on the horizon for Guzan. After helping the US to qualify for South Africa he's certain to make the squad, but once again he'll be second choice keeper, this time behind Everton's Tim Howard."As the back-up goalkeeper for the national team obviously you're not going to be playing that much, so for me it's about being a good team-mate and being a guy that is ready to be called upon."And if the call comes for their opening group game - he'll be up against England and a few familiar faces."Any game you're going to play at the World Cup is going to be a difficult game, so to be drawn against England in the first game is going to be especially tricky, but also very exciting. "When the draw was made I was just arriving at Villa Park to get on the team coach, the first person I saw was Emile Heskey and straight away the banter was flying." 'Brad Junior', as some of the Villa fans have dubbed him, is just the latest in a long line of goalkeepers from the US who have made it in England. Is this just a coincidence, or is there a reason why so many do well over here? Guzan believes he has part of the answer:"I think it starts with the sports that kids grow up playing in America. "Baseball, American Football, Basketball - they're the 3 main sports; they all involve hand-eye coordination which is something that's obviously important for any goalkeeper."Like so many goalkeepers before him, Aston Villa's Brad Guzan is having to play a waiting game. Since arriving from the MLS side Chivas USA in July 2008, Guzan has found first team chances limited. While he's played regularly in the cup competitions, fellow countryman Brad Friedel remains first choice for premiership games."It's about being a good team-mate and being a guy that is ready to be called upon.Image by Neville Williams / courtesy of Aston Villa FCWORLD CUP PREVIEW WORLD CUP PREVIEW WORLD CUP PREVIEW

10SPRING 2010The January transfer window turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib with the expected late rush of transfers simply not materialising.Overall spending was vastly reduced, with Premiership clubs spent a total of £44.8 million during the January period, less than 25% of the £190.5 million spent in the previous year's winter transfer window. Over one quarter of this amount is attributed to the sum that Manchester United have agreed to pay for Chris Smalling of Fulham- a fee that could rise to £12 million. Factors including the global recession, a weak pound against the Euro and a lack of budget all contributed to one of the quietest trading periods for some time. Whilst in general the UK slowly exits the recessionary period, the fear that football may be entering into such a phase was not allayed by the slide into administration of Crystal Palace and then Portsmouth FC.Pompey peril Amongst the goalkeepers 'on the move', the attention was primarily focused upon beleaguered Premier League outfit Portsmouth FC, who during the window won a 7 day stay of execution from a winding-up order at the High Court. In the early days of the window it appeared likely that David James would be leaving Fratton Park in an attempt to secure his plane ticket to South Africa for the World Cup, with Stoke City appearing his likely destination. Simultaneously, James' Pompey team-mate Asmir Begovic was the subject of an approach from Spurs. In an amazing and acrimonious twist, Stoke and Pompey failed to agree the finer terms of the transaction to take James to the Britannia Stadium, but Tony Pulis was quick to find a replacement....nipping in with a £3.25 million bid to hijack Spurs move for Begovich whom had agreed terms and undertaken a medical with the North London club! James' eagerness to depart Fratton Park was fuelled by a contractual provision that entitled him to a contract extension upon the completion of a certain number of games, and which given Pompey's well documented financial problems, could potentially have left him unable to play the final games of the season. As for Spurs, despite several late forays into the deadline day market, bids for Watford's Scott Loach and an approach for Glasgow Rangers' Allan McGregor failed to materialise.Elsewhere in the Premier League, newly appointed Burnley manager, Brian Laws, gave Nicky Weaver a return to the top flight following a successful spell in the SPL with Dundee United. Another keeper with SPL experience, Tony Warner negotiated an early release from moveAsmir Begovic / Image courtesy of Stoke City FCOn the