Tim Howard's potential replacement 

August, 22, 2011

If the U.S. has a reputation for one thing in English football circles, it's producing great goalkeepers. Long before Clint Dempsey and Stuart Holden were making names for themselves in the Premier League, Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller and Marcus Hahnemann were blazing trails in the EPL. But it's been a while since a truly outstanding American keeper hit England.

Enter Cody Cropper, a native Minnesotan born to an English father. When it came time for the precocious young goalkeeper -- who was 6-foot-4 and almost 200 pounds as a 15-year-old -- to make a decision on where to pursue a career in soccer, the choice was easy.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.