Tim Howard‘s performance in his return to former club Manchester United was outstanding. There can surely be little doubt now over who the U.S. Mens National Team’s goalkeeper should be at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with Howard displaying his very best when Everton needed him the most.
I was thoroughly impressed by Everton as a team. They look together, organised and made everything difficult for United. But as most games at Old Trafford go, the home side put the visitors under considerable pressure.
The Everton defence were shaking and panicking at times. But Howard, the last line of defense, was superb. His shot-stopping was a fine example of just how good a goalkeeper he was. Yes, the crossbar saved his bacon once or twice, but his reactions from a header that was fired in just yards in front of him was cat-like.
He was literally a brick wall. Not only was his ability to keep a clean sheet remarkable, but his leadership and attitude is something that coaches must dream of in a goalkeeper. As we all know, Howard can lose his temper easily, but he was the first to let his Everton team know that they need to keep their heads and calm down. He encouraged them to keep going on towards the three points away at Manchester United.
USMNT fans should be optimistic. With a goalkeeper like Howard performing like this, they have a bonus a the back that will inevitably be called upon many times in Brazil next year and may well be vital. It was Howard’s eighth clean sheet of an already very promising season for Everton.