Tim Howard

Tim Howard of the US celebrates after his team's second goal against Slovenia during a 2010 World Cup Group C soccer match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 18, 2010.   REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Everton FC (England)

Club Career

Sometimes referred to as the only US player good enough to start for any national team, Tim Howard has been a renowned goalkeeper since his MSL debut at 19.  After tending the nets for the New York Metrostars (now the New York Red Bulls) from 1998-2003, he moved to arguably the best team in the world, Manchester United.  Howard immediately became the Red Devils’ number 1 keeper, but he spent the next few years displaying form both sublime – winning two cups (2004 FA Cup and 2006 Carling Cup) – and dreadful – gifting FC Porto a goal and expelling Manchester United from the Champions League in the process.

His inconsistent play led to a 2007 loan to Premier League club Everton and his career has since been all roses, highlighted by saving two penalties against Manchester United in the 2009 FA Cup semifinal.  In 2010, Tim helped fellow American international Landon Donovan adjust to life in the Premiership during Donovan’s unaccountably successful 10-week loan at Everton.

National Team History

Few countries could claim that the starting goalkeeper for Manchester United was only the 2nd best keeper on their national team.  Unfortunately for Tim Howard, that was the situation he faced when he played for United.  It wasn’t until after his move to Everton, and the retirement of former US No. 1 Kasey Keller, that he became the first choice keeper for the USMNT.

Since his first tournament as the unquestioned number 1 (the 2007 Gold Cup) Howard hasn’t given the impression that he will let go of the job any time soon.  This summer Howard will play in his first World Cup, but his sterling play at last year’s Confederations Cup, including the first shutout of Spain in almost two years, and continued success in England’s Premier League mean the US has no reason to expect anything but stellar play from its keeper.

World Cup 2010

Howard’s sensational opening game (5 saves and one valiant loose ball collection) denied England its first World Cup victory over the USA. In the gringos’ second match, Slovenia became the only squad to hit up the Americans for more than one goal in regulation, though Howard’s defenders let him down on both strikes. He continued his solid performances against the defensive Algerians, pitching a shutout.

It was not until the knockout round that USA’s goalkeeper made an obvious error. On Ghana’s first goal, Howard failed to cover his near post, giving Kevin Prince-Boateng just enough room to slot in a shot. While Ricardo Clark’s turnover led to the scoring opportunity, teams occasionally need their goalkeepers to fix their mistakes, and for once, Howard was unable to do so. However, Timmy remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and one mistake should not cause US fans to lose faith in their No. 1.

Official US Soccer Bio

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