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USA Goalkeeper Tim Howard Announces He Plans to Retire After 2019 MLS Season

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2019

COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 06: Tim Howard #1 of the Colorado Rapids takes to the field before the second half against Los Angeles FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 6, 2018 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Tim Howard has said the 2019 Major League Soccer will be his last. The former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper announced his decision via Twitter on Tuesday:

Tim Howard @TimHowardGK

I’m greatly looking forward to kicking off the 2019 MLS season, as it will be my LAST. There will be plenty of time for sentiment later. For now, I am going to enjoy every minute. And as I’ve always done, compete hard and help lead the Rapids with the sole purpose of winning. https://t.co/QWuCcy7gW2

Despite the decision to call time on his career, the 39-year-old will continue preparations to make his final campaign a winning one with the Colorado Rapids.

Failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia last June meant Howard was unable to add to his 121 caps for his country. Those are the most of any American at his position, and many have chosen to remember one of Howard's standout performances from FIFA's global tournament four years earlier:

Jeff Carlisle @JeffreyCarlisle

Tim Howard will go down as one of the all-time greats in U.S. soccer history. Yes, there were ups and downs, but his performance against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup will not be forgotten. #usmnt https://t.co/sC4wKJAfe7

Sam Stejskal @samstejskal

Tim Howard against Belgium in 2014 remains one of the single greatest individual performances I've ever seen in any sport. A world-class 'keeper for damn near a decade. No matter what happens in his farewell season, he'll remain one of the best Americans to ever do it.

While Howard's international career may have suffered a bitter end, he's still one of the few MLS players to make it big oversees. It was a landmark moment when the New Jersey native was acquired by United from the MetroStars in 2003.

Signed as a replacement for Fabian Barthez, Howard quickly helped the Red Devils beat Arsenal in the Community Shield the same summer. United won a penalty shoot-out only after Howard denied both Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Robert Pires from the spot.

Howard was also in goal when United thumped Millwall 3-0 in the 2004 FA Cup final.

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Despite his early success, the stopper soon ran into problems at Old Trafford. He began splitting time between the sticks with Roy Carroll before the pair eventually lost out to Edwin van der Sar, the former Ajax and Juventus keeper who moved to Manchester from Fulham in 2005.

Howard enjoyed early success with United before going on to a fine career with Everton.
Howard enjoyed early success with United before going on to a fine career with Everton.Phil Cole/Getty Images

Even so, Howard managed to resurrect his career in England's top flight by joining Everton a year later. Howard spent a decade on the blue half of Merseyside, even helping the Toffees reach the final of the 2009 FA Cup, a game Everton lost 2-1.

He returned to MLS in 2016, moving to Colorado after 414 appearances for Everton.

While his work in the U.S. will be fondly remembered, Howard's enduring legacy is that he's one of the few USA internationals to forge a successful career at the top level away from his homeland.

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