U.S. goalkeeping prospect Ethan Horvath made his first start with Club Brugge in the Jupiler League on Friday, becoming the first American to feature for the Belgian side's history. The 21-year-old Horvath suited up for Brugge's match atRSC Charleroi, starting the match and making a small bit of history as the first American to play for Brugge in the club's 125-year history.
The Colorado native wasn't able to keep a clean sheet, but Brugge got a big boost from winger Jose Izquierdo, who scored a hat trickto push his team to a 3-1 victory. The win strengthened Brugge's grip on second place in the Jupiler League with 41 points from seven matches played. There's still a long way to go in the Belgian top-flight, however, with a total of 30 matches played each season.
A January arrival in a transfer from Molde in Norway, Horvath could be unseating No. 1 Ludovic Butelle, who is 34 years old. If that's the case, getting regular minutes could go a long way to helping his case in the USMNT goalkeeping conversation. With Bruce Arena relying on the 38-year-old Tim Howard at the moment, the opportunity for someone to step up is apparent.
The problem for the U.S. right now is they have Howard and a bunch of talented youngsters, but no one really in between. However, of the young keepers, Horvath appears to be the best of the bund right now. Not only did he impress at Molde, but he's making progress at Brugge right now.
There are a lot of youngsters like the Horvath vying to work their way into the USMNT picture at goalkeeper. Perhaps nothing helps their case more than getting consistent minutes, though. Time will tell if Horvath continues to get those at his new club, but if he does, he could very well become the undisputed U.S. keeper of the future.