I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying a fresh start to 2014!
Being a footballer in England during the Christmas and New Year period does not allow for the usual time of relaxing on the couch, feasting on great food and spending time with family and friends. This time of the year is the busiest part of our schedule, and the games come thick and fast. Traditionally there are always games on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas so Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are spent training and possibly traveling and staying in a hotel.
For Aston Villa this year, we played at home and were able to spend the evening with loved ones. For some fans it’s a family tradition to bring their kids to the Boxing Day games or maybe a chance for families to get together once a year and see a game, so to be part of it as a player is pretty special.
There is not as much practicing during this time of the year as the days in-between games is so short, sometimes only one day, so many players use that time to help their muscles recover and prepare for the next game.
As many people rang in the New Year with drinks and parties, we were in a hotel in Sunderland preparing for our game against Jozy Altidore and co. We won the game 1-0 which was a great result for Villa and a great way to start 2014!
With so many games during a short amount of time, it is a crucial to try and pick up as many points as possible because you know other teams have the chance to go above you in the table and at the same time you could easily slide down. The games are over before you know it and the last thing you want is to be regretting your performances come the end of January as you are fighting to get more points. Overall it is an enjoyable time of the season for numerous reasons, but for players it is vitally important to have a successful Christmas period and hopefully find your way going up the table.
2014 will sure be a great year as the World Cup is now only a few months away!
Guzan is a current member of the U.S. Men’s National Team. He received the first of his 24 international caps when the U.S. played Guatemala in Frisco, Texas, on February 19, 2006. Brad was the goalkeeper in the now infamous “SnowClasico” match against Costa Rica, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win. Four days later, he played the full 90 minutes as the U.S. played Mexico to a 0-0 draw at Estadio Azteca, marking only the second time in history that the U.S. took a point away to Mexico in World Cup Qualifying. He has earned a remarkable five shutouts in eight career appearances in qualifying. At the club level, Guzan is currently the starting goalkeeper for Aston Villa F.C. of the Barclays Premier League. He has made over 50 appearances in league play since joining the club in 2008.