|photo from Major League Soccer
by Daniel Feuerstein
It's a very special time in the life of a professional soccer player after an illustrious career for club and country, and none was more special than former US Men's National Team and Metro Legend goalkeeper Tim Howard was just announced on NBC Sports Premier League studio show by host Rebecca Lowe that he has been selected for induction to the Soccer Hall of Fame into the class of 2024. The North Brunswick, NJ native has spent over twenty years defending the net for multiple clubs in the USA and two in the Premier League in England. He was also a part of two World Cup teams in 2010 and 2014 for the National Team.
He began his professional career with the defunct North Jersey Imperials in 1997 located at Farleigh Dickenson University's Teaneck/Hackensack Campus before he was allocated to the MetroStars as a MLS/USSF Project 40 player, brought up by his North Jersey head coach and goalkeeper coach at the Metro Tim Mulqueen in 1998 and he never looked back. When Zach Thornton left the club for the Chicago Fire expansion draft, Howard took over as the backup to Tony Meola. Played in his only match of that season on August 18th defeating the Colorado Rapids at Giants Stadium by a final of four goals to one.
In the 1999 season, Howard made eight starts in nine games. He only got one win out of those eight starts as that began the first poor season by the club only winning seven matches the entire year. In the 2000 season Howard was playing all of the US Open Cup games and got wins over the Tampa Bay Mutiny, the big penalty kick shootout win at the Columbus Crew, but fell to the Miami Fusion at home in the Semi-Finals. He took over the net full-time in the 2001 season and never looked back. I will never forget the crazy road win at the Kansas City Wizards in Arrowhead Stadium when he made three consecutive saves before Clint Mathis scored the match-winner. Howard looked like a Hockey goalie on grass.
His performance in the net for both the Metro and the US Men's National Team got him scouted and transferred to Manchester United under the coaching prowess of Legend Sir Alex Ferguson. Even though he only played four seasons at Man Utd, and won the FA Cup and the League Cup, but sadly had a bit of a rocky time and was sent on loan to Everton for the 2006-07 season which led to United bringing over Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. But that loan led Howard to become a legend on the blue side of Liverpool.
Not only did Tim Howard make several spectacular saves, he will also be known for scoring a goal on a blustery day at Goodison Park. Everton hosted Bolton Wanderers when they were in the Premier League, as Howard booted a ball out of his area and down the pitch. While the wind did grab a hold of it, the ball bounced high and his opposing keeper Adam Bogdan, was caught in no man's land, and the ball rainbowed over him and into the back of the net. Howard never celebrated it but got one from his teammates.
After his time with Everton was over, Howard returned to MLS and played four seasons with the Colorado Rapids, then finished up his playing career as the starting keeper and a member of the ownership group of the USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC. In his club career, he has played a total of 700 matches 414 of them were at Everton, For the US Men's National Team he earned 121 caps and broke the saves record in a World Cup match against Belgium in the second round at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, making 16 saves in over 120 minutes in a two goals to one loss.
But his distribution to start the game-winning goal over Algeria in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was an amazing moment that ended with Landon Donovan converting the winner. He was also a part of winning two Gold Cups in 2007 and 2017. Also was on that Confederations Cup team in 2009 defeating Spain two goals to nil in the Semi-Finals. He will join Tab Ramos and Tony Meola as members of the club to be selected for induction to the National Soccer Hall of Fame this coming May 2024. From all of us at Red Bull News Network, congratulations Timmy, you deserve it.