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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Tim Howard
Jurgen Klinsmann sat on a podium and smiled after guiding the United States into its seventh straight World Cup.
"Obviously this is a huge, huge evening for all of us," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It's a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup."
Alejandro Bedoya remembered back four years ago, when he walked onto the field with his American teammates to face Mexico at the Rose Bowl and saw the crowd of 93,000-plus.
Coming off a dismal 3-1 loss Friday at Costa Rica on Friday night, the U.S. can assure its seventh straight World Cup appearance with two games to spare if it beats Mexico and Honduras defeats or ties visiting Panama.
Altidore has scored in five straight games, a first for a U.S. player, and also had an assist on Eddie Johnson's goal. It was the first time the U.S. has come back to win a game in Europe.
Before 20,250 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Americans remained atop the six-team CONCACAF group. The United States (4-1-1) won three straight games this month, all since a 0-0 draw at Mexico gave it a boost toward the top.
Brad Evans scored an unlikely goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, giving the U.S. a thrilling 2-1 win that solidified the Americans' chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup.
Behind two goals from Clint Dempsey, a slump-busting tally from Jozy Altidore and the gift of a comical own goal, the Americans defeated highly touted Germany 4-3 in their final friendly before three critical World Cup qualifiers.
Boasting a squad including 10 English Premier League players, Belgium overpowered a U.S. team that has some work to do on defense before it can think about making the field for next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Landon Donovan was left off the 29-man U.S. roster for a training camp ahead of a trio of World Cup qualifiers next month. But American coach Jurgen Klinsmann anticipates he will rejoin the team at some unspecified point.
Tim Howard remains the No. 1 American goalkeeper despite two strong games by Brad Guzan in World Cup qualifiers last month.
The United States heads into World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico with an inexperienced defense after dropping captain Carlos Bocanegra and learning eight players are injured or ill.
The 33-year-old Bocanegra, captain since 2007, has lost his starting job with Racing Santander in Spain's second division. He was in the U.S. squad for the 2-1 loss at Honduras last month in the final round of qualifying but didn't play.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has two broken bones in his back and likely will miss the Americans' World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico this month.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard was the captain for the match in San Pedro Sula as the Americans opened the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Chandler took over on the right from Steve Cherundolo, sidelined by a knee injury.
"He's a super positive guy. He never lets it show when the chips are down," Howard said. "And I think we've answered the bell a bunch of times: Guatemala in Kansas City, the snow game (against Costa Rica in Colorado), when there was all this internal strife and we hated each other."
"It's a pretty good system. It's the way it works in Europe, like nothing is yours forever," goalkeeper Tim Howard said then. "I don't think some of the younger guys quite get it."