Tim Howard Says He Plans to Retire After His Contract with Everton Expires

Tim KeeneyContributor IApril 25, 2014

Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard holds the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at the White Hart Lane stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant

Tim Howard has given his career an expiration date. 

In an interview with ESPN's Doug McIntyre on Friday, the American goalkeeper said he would retire once his current contract with Everton has expired: 

I'll be on a beach somewhere when I'm 40. I would pretty much take that to the bank that I won't be playing past 40. There are other things I want to achieve in life, other things that I want to do.

The 35-year-old, of course, is still a ways away from nearing his fifth decade on this planet, but after signing a contract extension through the 2017-18 Premier League season, odds are strong he will finish his career with The Toffees. 

That means there will be no MLS swan song for the North Brunswick native, who played with the MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) from 1998 to 2003. 

"Up until last week it was a possibility," Howard said. "But I think that ship has sailed for me now. I think MLS had its chance, if I'm being honest, but now I'll finish my career with Everton and be a happy man."

Although several other notable Americans—Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, to name a few—have made the return to North American soil as the MLS continues to grow into a viable landing spot, Howard has enjoyed a marvelous career with Everton, and it only makes sense that he end his there as well. 

Consider some of the impressive stats he has racked up at Goodison Park throughout his time there, via OptaJoe: 

That success has culminated to a new team high this season. With Howard in goal, Everton, who sit in fifth place just one point behind Arsenal, are looking for the first top-four finish and Champions League qualification since 2004-05. 

Howard, who has been a steadying force for the men's national team after replacing Kasey Keller seven years ago, will look to continue that success in June, as the Americans face the difficult gauntlet of Germany, Portugal and Ghana in the group stage of the World Cup. 

No matter what happens, though, he's earned the right to call it quits whenever he wants.