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Tim Howard to Take a Leave from International Soccer

  • Cody Maggard

ss-140702-tim-howard-saves-01_nbcnews-ux-1280-900 The United States’ number 1 goalkeeper for the past 7 years will take a year off from international soccer in an effort to spend more time with his family. Howard, who is also the man between the posts for Everton of the EPL, is 35 years old, but is in the best form of his illustrious career. His heroics for the USA in the World Cup against the top teams in the world nearly led his nation to the quarterfinals if not for a valiant Belgian effort. He is also the US’ all time leader in wins with 55, and has 104 caps for Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad. Howard will not be considered for selection until September of 2015. This means he will be missing out on 8 international friendlies, as of now, and the Concacaf Gold Cup next summer. In making his decision, Howard had to say “having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time.” According to US Soccer, Howard has received clearance from Everton manager Roberto Martinez to visit his family in Memphis, Tennessee during the international breaks in the season. So, where does this leave the US in terms of goalkeepers? Well, Brad Guzan will most likely be the number 1 going forward. Guzan is the starting ‘keeper for EPL team Aston Villa and accumulated 9 clean sheets last season, 3 less than Tim Howard’s 12. He also recorded 110 saves last season to Howard’s 112. All in all, it appears as if the US are in good hands, get it hands? Goalkeeper? Anyway, the point being, Guzan is not much of a drop-off from Tim Howard. Guzan has also shown ability when suiting up for the Yanks. Last March after Tim Howard sustained an injury in a club game, Guzan kept a clean sheet at Azteca against Mexico to give the US their first point in Mexico during World Cup qualifying in their history. This is not a retirement, according to Howard. He’s only stepping back to spend time with his family, however if he does retire, he is without question one of the top 3 goalkeepers in US history (Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller are also in the mix). It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch Tim Howard play international soccer, and hopefully that effort against Belgium won’t be the last time we see him in a US shirt. Sports-Kings contributor Cody Maggard @CodyMaggard10

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Cody Maggard

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