Brad Guzan has admitted forcing his way into the Aston Villa team could be crucial to his hopes of being USA's No1 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Guzan is currently No2 to Brad Friedel at Villa and deputy to Everton's Tim Howard at international level. But he underlined his potential by making four penalty saves during Wednesday's Carling Cup win over Sunderland - one in normal time and three more during the shoot-out.
Guzan said: "To be part of a World Cup is massive. Do I need to get the Villa jersey off Brad Friedel to replace Tim Howard? I think that would help. Every player wants to go to a World Cup. It's in the back of my mind. It's one of those situations where you want to be playing week in and week out to be as sharp as possible.
"But games like at Sunderland maybe make the national team manager think 'when he does get games he is still sharp and contributing to the team'."
Guzan is relishing the battle to dislodge Howard who will be in action for his club against Villa in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash. He said: "I work with Tim all the time with the national team. It is always exciting whenever us Americans play against each other but, as soon as that whistle blows, it will be down to business."
Guzan, 25, also admits he can only benefit from working alongside Friedel on a regular basis. The former Chivas USA player said: "Brad has been doing the business for so many years and I don't have to look far for someone to model myself on. It's great to be able to work with him daily and I can only benefit."