Injuries sideline top American goalies Howard, Solo

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

The news for U.S. Men's National soccer was not good on Friday.
Goalie Tim Howard has two fractures in his back and might miss four weeks of English Premier League play. But more important to American soccer fans, Howard likely will miss the U.S. Men's National team's World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica on March 22 in Denver and at Mexico four days later.
And the news doesn't get better for the women's side of national soccer. The U.S. Soccer Federation said goalie Hope Solo will be sidelined three to four months after having wrist surgery on Thursday to repair torn cartilage. Solo will miss at least half of the Seattle Reign's inaugural National Women's Soccer League season, as well as international friendlies at Germany and the Netherlands, according to The Washington Post.
U.S. Soccer doctors advised Solo to have the surgery soon to give her plenty of time to recuperate. The women don't have any significant matches until late 2014 when Women's World Cup qualifiers are scheduled.
Solo's surgery was not the only injury news for the women's team.
On Thursday, No. 2 goalie Jill Loyden suffered a broken bone in her left hand while training in Portugal for the Algarve Cup tournament. Loyden will miss three months, also.
The most serious loss for the time being is Howard, who was hurt 10 days ago while playing for Everton FC against Oldham.
Everton manager David Moyes told The Post that Howard "has two fractures, but they are not bones that are supporting anything. ... They are not weight-bearing. It just needs a bit of healing time."
The 34-year-old Howard has been the starter in goal for the men since 2007 and has made 86 international appearances.
Brad Guzan will replace Howard in goal for the United States, which lost its opener in the final round of World Cup qualifying last month and needs at least three points from the next two matches.
Solo, 31, who has played in 135 international matches, has been bothered by the sore wrist for some time. The procedure had been expected since last week, when U.S. Soccer announced the women's national-team star would miss the Algarve Cup.
. Nicole Barnhart was in goal on Friday as the women routed China, 5-0. The U.S. team next will play Sweden in its final Group B game on March 11 for a berth in the Algarve Cup championship game.

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