At 35 years old, Tim Howard will likely be playing in his last World Cup in the 2014, but this will also be the year in which Howard shows the world just how special of a goalkeeper he is. The New Jersey native is one of the most decorated players on the USA roster, and there is good reason why. When soccer fans around the world talk about the best goalies, players like Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer come up in the conversation, but not many people talk about Howard.
Perhaps the reason why people aren’t aware of Howard is because of the international team he plays for. Howard was the goalie for Manchester United for four years, but Edwin van der Sar passed him on the depth chart and that ultimately led to Howard’s departure from the perennial powerhouse. Instead of coming back to play in the MLS, Howard signed a contract with the Everton football club. Howard has now been the goalkeeper for Everton for seven years.
One problem Howard may run into in this year’s World Cup is the defense Jurgen Klinsmann has put out in front of him. Because of how inexperienced and young this defense is, Klinsmann made the switch to a more conservative system in the 4-4-2. Klinsmann decided not to bring back defensive stalwarts like Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra. USA will now have players like Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones in front of Howard. I’m not knocking on Johnson or Jones, but both are relatively new to Howard.
USA fans will learn in this year’s World Cup that the American team is not one that scores a lot of goals. That being said, it is good to know that there is a player like Howard in goal keeping teams like Germany and Portugal out of the net. Howard will have his first chance to show how good he is tonight when the Yanks play Ghana.