Tim Howard

This article is about the soccer player. For the attorney, see Tim Howard (attorney). For the NY sheriff, see Tim Howard (sheriff). For the musician and radio producer, see Soltero.
Tim Howard

Howard playing for the United States in 2013
Personal information
Full name Timothy Matthew Howard
Date of birth (1979-03-06) March 6, 1979
Place of birth North Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Colorado Rapids
Number 1
Youth career
1995–1997 Central Jersey Cosmos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997 North Jersey Imperials 16 (0)
1998–2003 MetroStars 88 (0)
1998MLS Pro-40 (loan) 1 (0)
2003–2007 Manchester United 45 (0)
2006–2007Everton (loan) 25 (0)
2007–2016 Everton 329 (1)
2016– Colorado Rapids 17 (0)
National team
1999 United States U20 3 (0)
1999 United States U23 4 (0)
2002– United States 111 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 23, 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 11, 2016

Timothy Matthew "Tim" Howard[1] (born March 6, 1979) is an American soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for American club Colorado Rapids and the United States national team.

Howard started his career with the North Jersey Imperials before making a move to the MetroStars. His appearances soon attracted the attention of Manchester United, who signed him in 2003. He enjoyed relative success with them as they won the 2003 FA Community Shield, the 2003–04 FA Cup and the 2005–06 League Cup. However, after United signed Edwin van der Sar, Howard went out on loan to Everton to play more first-team soccer and eventually signed permanently with them in February 2007. On January 4, 2012, Howard scored a goal, his first as a professional, against Bolton Wanderers. This made him only the fourth goalkeeper to score a goal in a Premier League match.[2] In 2016 Howard signed to play for the MLS Colorado Rapids, and will transition to the American club after international duty.

Howard is the most capped goalkeeper of all-time for the United States men's national team, with over 100 caps since his debut in 2002. He was an unused substitute for the 2006 World Cup but later established himself as first-choice and started all of the United States' games at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The team reached the Round of 16 on both occasions, and during the latter Howard set a World Cup record for most saves in a match with 16.

Howard's book, The Keeper, published in 2014, describes his career and his life with Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).[3]

Early years

Howard was born in North Brunswick, New Jersey,[4] to Matthew Howard, an African American, and Esther Howard (née Fekete),[5] a native of Hungary.[6]

His father, a long-distance truck driver,[6] "moved out before [Howard] formed [his] first memory",[6] and his parents divorced when Howard was three;[7] Howard lived with his mother, who worked for a container packing distributor.[8]

Howard was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome when he was in the sixth grade.[7]

In 1991, before Howard was a teenager, Tim Mulqueen, a one-time assistant coach for the United States men's national under-17 soccer team, saw Howard's potential at a single, $25 soccer coaching session, and took Howard under his wing, offering him free soccer coaching.[9]

In high school, Howard proved a star not only in soccer as a midfielder, but also on the basketball court, where he averaged 15 points per game and helped bring his team to the state finals in his senior year. However his talent and abilities as a soccer player were far more impressive. Despite his position on his high school team, Howard was a far better goalkeeper than he was a midfielder. During high school, he played for Central Jersey Cosmos.[10]

In 1995, Howard was part of the U.S. under-17 squad.[10] In 1997, Mulqueen became the coach of the North Jersey Imperials, a team in the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (USISL), and served as the goalkeeping coach for Major League Soccer's MetroStars; he considered Howard for a position on the Imperials. Howard signed with the Imperials and played in his first professional game before graduating from high school.[11]

Club career


After only six appearances with the USISL's North Jersey Imperials, Howard was brought up to the MetroStars by Mulqueen, who at the time was the MetroStars' goalkeeping coach.

Howard was victorious in his MLS debut with the MetroStars on August 18, 1998, making five saves in a 4–1 win over Colorado at Giants Stadium (his only appearance of the year). He later played in one game with the Nike Project-40 Team, a 3–1 win over the Staten Island Vipers at Giants Stadium on May 6, 1998.

With the MetroStars during the 1999 MLS season, Howard made eight starts in nine contests. Howard had a 1.58 GAA and won just one match in a season in which the Metros won just seven games. He also spent most of the international season with the United States Under-20 team, leaving the club to compete in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in April and the 1999 Pan American Games in July.

Howard posted a 5–2–2 record with a 1.59 GAA in 2000, splitting time between the MetroStars and the United States Olympic team, also winning all three of his U.S. Open Cup starts that season.

Howard won the 2001 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award, recording 146 saves and finishing the year with a 1.33 GAA,[12] four shutouts, and a 13–10–3 record.[13] He also received the MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award.[12]

Howard played in 27 of 28 regular season games in 2002 for the MetroStars, recording four shutouts.[13] He was named to the MLS Best XI for the second straight season. Before leaving the MetroStars in 2003, he appeared in thirteen games and had three clean sheets[13] as the club challenged for first place during the season’s first half.

Manchester United

Manchester United paid a $4 million transfer fee to sign Howard in the middle of the 2003 MLS season, and he replaced Fabien Barthez as the club's first-choice goalkeeper.[14]

He started off very well at Manchester United, saving the decisive penalty in the Community Shield against Arsenal. Other notable performances followed, including Bolton Wanderers and a home FA Cup tie victory over Manchester City. However, in March 2004, Howard's poor parry handed a last minute goal to FC Porto, eliminating United from the UEFA Champions League.[15] The error appeared to shatter Howard's confidence and he was replaced by Roy Carroll. After a period of rest, Howard reclaimed his starting position ahead of Carroll for the 2004 FA Cup Final, picking up a winner's medal. He was the second American player to collect a winner's medal in the FA Cup, after Julian Sturgis of Wanderers in the 1873 final. Howard was also named in the PFA Best XI in his first season at Manchester United.

In his second season with Manchester United, he started poorly, making several errors and was dropped again for Carroll. After Carroll made several errors as well, Howard regained the starting position but his performances were unconvincing, leading to Carroll regaining his place again, playing in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

At the end of the 2004–05 season, Howard signed a new contract, which was to run until 2009. In the summer of 2005, Manchester United released both of his competitors for the goalkeeper position — Ricardo López Felipe and Carroll. However, they also bought experienced Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar soon after.


Howard joined Everton on loan for the 2006–07 season and made his debut for the club against Watford on the opening day of the season. He signed a permanent deal with the club in February 2007 for a fee reported to be worth around £3 million.[16]

In April 2007, Everton faced Manchester United at Goodison Park. Howard did not participate in the game, and there was some speculation that this came from a clause in his loan contract, even though a permanent deal had since been agreed.[17] The Football Association investigated the allegation but found that neither Manchester United nor Everton had broken any rules regarding Howard's transfer and that both clubs had confirmed that Everton had been free to play Howard against Manchester United if they had wished to do so.[18] He made his 100th appearance for Everton against West Ham United, on November 8, 2008. On April 19, 2009, in the FA Cup semi final, he saved two penalties against his former club Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out to send Everton to the final against Chelsea. During the 2008–09 season Howard set the club record for most league match clean sheets in a season. Howard started the 2009–10 season with four consecutive clean sheets, including away to Portsmouth where he helped his team secure a 1–0 win and claimed the man of the match award for his performance. Howard saved a Jermain Defoe penalty in injury time to help his side draw 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur on 6 December 2009.[19] Howard captained Everton for the first time in a 3–3 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on December 12, 2009.[20]

"It was cruel. You saw the back fours and the keepers not being able to believe balls all night, and at the back one wrong step and it can be a nightmare. For our goal I was disappointed from a goalkeepers' union standpoint. You never want to see that happen. It's not nice, it's embarrassing, so I felt for Adam but you have to move on from it."

Tim Howard, on his first goal.

During the 2011–12 season, Howard scored his first goal in professional soccer in a 2–1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers. His wind-assisted 101-yard clearance at Goodison Park made him only the fourth goalkeeper to score in a Premier League match since its formation in 1992.[21] He described his goal as "cruel" and refused to celebrate out of sympathy for his beaten opposite number, Ádám Bogdán.[22]

In March 2012, Howard agreed a new contract to keep him at the club until the summer of 2016.[23] On March 2, 2013, Howard's run of 210 consecutive Premier League appearances dating back to September 2007 came to an end as he missed a game against Reading with a finger injury.[24] He was two games short of equalling Neville Southall's club record.[25] In May, Howard kept his 100th clean sheet for Everton in a 0–0 draw against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.[26][27]

On December 26, Howard was sent off in a 1–0 defeat to Sunderland, which ended Everton's hopes of remaining an entire calendar year unbeaten at home.[28][29] In April 2014, Everton extended Howard's contract by two years until 2018.[30]

On February 19, 2016, Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirmed that Howard was expected to serve as the backup to Joel Robles.[31] He had recently been affected by a knee injury and a loss of form.[32] Before his final match with the club, Howard made a speech before the fans stating, "I will remain an Evertonian for life. This will always be my team, my club".[32]

Colorado Rapids

On March 20, 2016 it was announced that Howard would return to MLS, signing a 3½-year deal at the Colorado Rapids and becoming available when the MLS transfer window opens on July 4. On June 28, Howard was given the #1 jersey as he appeared in his first press conference with the club.[33] On November 6, 2016, Howard saved two penalty kicks- with a third also being sent off the crossbar- against the LA Galaxy to send Colorado to the Western Conference Championship.

International career

Howard makes a save during training for the US national team, May 2006
Howard with the US national team against Austria in 2013

Howard represented the United States under-20 national team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria, playing in group stage victories over England and Cameroon, before a losing in the Round of 16 against Spain.[34][35][36]

In July 1999, he was called up for the United States under-23 national team for the 1999 Pan American Games tournament. The United States ended the tournament with a bronze medal having overcome Canada in the Bronze medal match.[37]

He was used as a backup to Brad Friedel at the 2000 Summer Olympics. On March 10, 2002, he received his first senior cap, against Ecuador. On May 2, 2006, Howard was named as one of three goalkeepers on the United States roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, but served as a backup to Kasey Keller. Howard became the team's first choice goalkeeper under Bob Bradley and started in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, a 2–1 win over Mexico.

He was the starting goalkeeper for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, including the semi-final in which the United States upset Spain, then the number one-ranked team in the world. Howard's eight saves earned him his first clean sheet of the tournament and the first shutout of the Spanish side since 2007. Following the United States' second-place finish in the tournament, Howard was awarded the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper.[38]

Howard was the starting goalkeeper for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in South Africa, and turned in a man of the match performance against England in his World Cup debut.[39] Howard's distribution to Landon Donovan led to the game-winning goal of the final group match against Algeria, giving the United States passage into the round of 16.[40] During the United States' round of 16 game against Ghana, Howard conceded two goals in a 2–1 loss.

After Mexico defeated the United States to win the 2011 Gold Cup Final, Howard made a controversial statement regarding the post-match ceremony. The trophy presentation was conducted entirely in Spanish, despite the tournament being held in the United States. Howard went on to say that it was a "disgrace" and commented further that if the final had been in Mexico City and the United States had won, the ceremony would not have been made in English.[41]

On June 7, 2014, in the buildup to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Howard received his 100th cap for the United States in a 2–1 defeat of Nigeria.[42] On June 22, Howard was named man of the match for his display during the United States' 2–2 draw with Portugal;[43] his most notable save was a reaction stop to deny Éder, having previously diverted Nani's shot onto the post.

On July 1, Howard was again awarded man of the match, despite the United States losing 2–1 to Belgium after extra time in the round of 16.[44] During the match, he broke the record for most saves in a World Cup match with 15.[45][46][47][Note 1] After breaking this record, his performance was celebrated worldwide on the internet, with #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave trending on Twitter and numerous viral meme photos.[48]

Career statistics


As of match played September 25, 2016[49][50][51]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[Note 2] Total
North Jersey Imperials 1997 160 160
Total 160 160
MetroStars 1998 10 10
1999 90 90
2000 9030 120
2001 2901030 330
2002 27010 280
2003 130 130
Total 8805030 960
Manchester United 2003–04 32040007010440
2004–05 12040505010270
2005–06 102030000060
Total 4501008012020770
Everton (loan) 2006–07 25010100000270
Everton 11000000000110
2007–08 36000308000470
2008–09 38070102000480
2009–10 38020209000510
2010–11 38040000000420
2011–12 38160100000441
2012–13 36040000000400
2013–14 37000000000370
2014–15 32000109000420
2015–16 25000000000250
Total 354124080280004141
Colorado Rapids 2016 12000000000120
Career total 5141390210400206161



United States national team



Manchester United


United States


Personal life

He is divorced from Laura Cianciola Howard, with whom he has two children.[57] He holds dual American and Hungarian citizenship.[58]

Howard is a Christian, and has said: "The most important thing in my life is Christ. He's more important to me than winning or losing or whether I'm playing or not. Everything else is just a bonus."[59] He is also involved with Athletes in Action, a ministry arm of Campus Crusade for Christ.[59]

Howard was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome[60] and OCD in middle school.[3] He was named MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2001 for his work with children with Tourette syndrome,[60] and was added to the New Jersey Tourette Syndrome Association Board of Directors in the same year.[12] The U.S. Tourette Syndrome Association described him as the "most notable individual with Tourette Syndrome around the world"[61] when in 2014 he was awarded as a "Champion of Hope" for the "tremendous courage he displayed in sharing his story on an international platform, educating the public on a disorder that is so seldom talked about, and encouraging young people living with TS to speak out about their experiences".[61]

In 2014, Howard showed off his arm and torso tattoos for PETA's "Ink, Not Mink" anti-fur campaign.[62]


Howard's book, The Keeper: A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them (ISBN 978-0-06-238739-4), describing his career and his life with Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, was coauthored with Ali Benjamin and published in 2014.[3] In the book, Howard says that his neurological makeup gave him an enhanced perception and an ability to hyper-focus that contributed to his success on the field.[3] The New York Times book review said, "... few are cooler or quicker than Mr. Howard", and that the story is good, but reading it "require[s] a certain tolerance for sports clichés".[63] The Chicago Tribune describes Howard as the "rarest of creatures – an American soccer hero", adding that the book has "exciting recollections" and that Howard is a "gracious narrator, though here and there he engages in mild score-settling".[64]


  1. FIFA's initial match statistics showed 16 saves, and many news sources continue to use this number. The official FIFA statistics were updated on July 5, 2014 to show 15 saves.
  2. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


  1. 1 2 Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
  2. "Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard scores freak goal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). January 6, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Howard, Tim (December 6, 2014). "Tim Howard: Growing up with Tourette syndrome and my love of football". The Guardian. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  4. Hayes, Dean (2009). Manchester United: The Football Facts. London: John Blake Publishing. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-84454-795-1.
  5. "Nemzeti Sport: Tim Howard". Nemzetisport.hu. February 21, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Howard (2014), p. 10.
  7. 1 2 "ESPN New York: Biggest fan backs Howard on big stage". Sports.espn.go.com. June 18, 2010. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  8. Howard (2014), p. 11.
  9. Howard (2014), pp. 35–37.
  10. 1 2 Howard (2014), p. 44.
  11. Howard (2014), p. 53.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "MetroStars 2001". Major League Soccer. Retrieved March 21, 2005.
  13. 1 2 3 "Tim Howard". Major League Soccer. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  14. Hale, Ellen (January 22, 2004). "American goalie rises to top of soccer world". USA Today. Manchester, England. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  15. Bevan, Chris (April 14, 2009). "When Porto shocked Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  16. "Howard signs Everton deal". Metro. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  17. "United probe - Premier League to investigate the champions-elect". Mail Online. London: Daily Mail. May 6, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  18. "Premier League drops Howard probe". BBC Sport. May 6, 2007. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  19. "Everton 2-2 Tottenham". BBC. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  20. "Howard, Jagielka, Yobo pen Toffees deals". ESPN Soccernet. June 3, 2009. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  21. "Tim Howard Goal: Everton Goalkeeper Scores Goal Against Bolton (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. January 4, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  22. Hunter, Andy (January 5, 2012). "Tim Howard feels sympathy for Bolton goalkeeper after 'cruel' goal". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014.
  23. "Tim Howard signs new Everton contract until 2016". BBC Sport. March 8, 2012. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  24. "Injury casts doubt on Howard's Everton record attempt". ESPN (UK). Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  25. "Banners for Benitez just bananas". ESPN (UK). Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
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  27. Sheringham, Sam. "Liverpool 0–0 Everton". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  28. "Everton 0 Sunderland 1". The Guardian. December 26, 2013. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  29. "Ki penalty sinks 10-man Toffees". ESPN. December 26, 2013. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  30. Hunter, Andy (April 17, 2014). "Everton extend Tim Howard's contract by two more years". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  31. Sports, Fox. "Martinez confirms Tim Howard is second choice at Everton". FOX Sports. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  32. 1 2 "Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard to join MLS side Colorado Rapids". BBC Sport. March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  33. "Watch: Tim Howard introduced in press conference at Dick's Sporting Goods Park". ColoradoRapids.com.
  34. "FIFA World Youth Championship Nigeria 1999 - Matches - England-USA - FIFA.com". FIFA.com.
  35. "FIFA World Youth Championship Nigeria 1999 - Matches - Cameroon-USA - FIFA.com". FIFA.com.
  36. "FIFA World Youth Championship Nigeria 1999 - Matches - Spain-USA - FIFA.com". FIFA.com.
  37. "U.S. Soccer Squad Wins Bronze Medal at Pan Am Games". UCLABruins.com. August 6, 1999.
  38. "FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009: Awards". FIFA. 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  39. "2010 FIFA World Cup Roster". U.S. Soccer. 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  40. Whiteside, Kelly (June 24, 2010). "Donovan's last-gasp goal nets historic World Cup win for USA". USA Today. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  41. Melville, Adrian (August 10, 2011). "A conflict of interest?". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  42. Jones, Neil. "Ton-up Tim! Joy for Howard at getting 100th US cap". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  43. "USA 2-2 Portugal". FIFA. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  44. "Belgium 2-1 USA". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  45. "World Cup 2014: Tim Howard makes record number of saves". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  46. Bandini, Paolo (July 2, 2014). "Tim Howard reflects on 'bittersweet' World Cup record in USA defeat". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  47. "Official FIFA statistics, updated July 5, 2014" (PDF). July 5, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  48. "Tim Howard virals: The best internet pics on USA goalkeeper's display vs Belgium - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  49. "USA - T. Howard - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. July 25, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  50. "Tim Howard Player Profile". ESPN FC. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  51. "Football : Tim Howard". Football Database. July 25, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  52. "Tim Howard". National Football Teams. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  54. "Peralta, Morgan named 2013 CONCACAF Players of the Year". CONCACAF.com. December 13, 2013. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  55. "Navas, Wambach named 2014 CONCACAF Players of the Year". CONCACAF.com. December 23, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  56. "Javier Hernandez and Carli Lloyd Named 2015 CONCACAF Players of the Year". concacaf.com. January 22, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  57. Howard (2014), pp. 225–236, p. 309.
  58. "The American Hungarian Federation - Founded 1906". americanhungarianfederation.org.
  59. 1 2 Lawrence, Chris (May 1, 2006). "Tim Howard: The Goal Keeper". Campus Crusade for Christ. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
  60. 1 2 "New Public Service Announcement for Tourette Syndrome awareness features soccer star Tim Howard" (Press release). Bayside, New York: Tourette Syndrome Association. January 18, 2005. Archived from the original on April 1, 2008.
  61. 1 2 "Tim Howard receives first-ever Champion of Hope Award from the National Tourette Syndrome Association" (Press release). Tourette Syndrome Association. October 14, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  62. Whiteside, Kelly (May 6, 2014). "Tim Howard Bares Tattoos for PETA 'Ink, Not Mink' Campaign". USA Today.
  63. "Books: Stopping Goals, and Opening Up-Tim Howard's The Keeper Tells That Athlete's Story". New York Times. January 1, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  64. Keilman, John (January 22, 2015). "Reviews: The Game of Our Lives by David Goldblatt, The Keeper by Tim Howard". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
General references

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