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Howard ready to return to the US national team
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LONDON (AP) — Goalkeeper Tim Howard is ready to make himself available for the United States national team again after taking a break since the 2014 World Cup.

The 36-year-old Howard, who plays for Everton in the English Premier League, was allowed a sabbatical from international soccer in August last year but he could now return after the Gold Cup.

Howard is targeting selection for the United States’ friendly match against Peru on Sept. 4.

“That is the plan,” Howard said in an interview on Everton’s website Wednesday. “I spoke to coach (Jurgen) Klinsmann and we have had open lines of communication as recently as last week.

“We will speak again after that tournament (the Gold Cup) finishes and I will make myself available for selection. We will see where we go from there.”

Howard, who has played for his country 104 times, said the break has motivated him to pull on the U.S. jersey once again.

“I have missed it. It was a tough decision to make. It has been a good break, but all it has done is really fuelled my fire. I have missed the boys, the competition and playing in front of the U.S. fans.”

The U.S. takes on Jamaica in the semifinals of the Gold Cup in Atlanta Wednesday, and Howard highlighted the importance of success in the competition.

“Winning the tournament would help us continue going in the right direction,” Howard said. “Part of that is staying on top of the region and dominating year in and year out.

“We have set the bar high enough to expect that of ourselves.”