#24 | Goalkeeper
March 6, 1979 (Age: 37)
North Brunswick, New Jersey
6' 3", 212 lbs (1.91 m, 96 kg)
Howard began his professional career in 1998 when he signed an MLS contract and was allocated to MetroStars. Despite spending most of the year as backup, he made his debut on August 18, 1998 with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
After a dismal 1999 season, where the Metros won just seven games, Howard left the club to compete in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and the Pan Am Games. The next year, he split his time between the Metros and the US Olympic team, where he won all three of his US Open Cup starts and totaled 12 saves in matches against Wilmington, Columbus and Tampa Bay.
In 2001, Howard became the youngest player to be named the MLS Aquafina Goalkeeper of the Year, recording four shutouts and a league-leading 146 saves, and was named NY Life's Humanitarian of the Year for his work with charities supporting Tourette's Syndrome. Furthermore, he was named an MLS All-Star after earning the full-time spot for the MetroStars and finished the season with a 1.33 goals against average.
After five seasons with the MetroStars and training stints at AC Milan and Feyenoord, Howard joined Manchester United in 2003 in the biggest transfer in American soccer history after United goalkeeping coach Tony Coton was alerted by a US contact. Howard's transfer to Old Trafford was confirmed while he was on duty at the 2003 Confederations Cup.
He immediately gained international recognition when he became United's starting goalkeeper, displacing French World Cup champion goalkeeper Fabian Barthez.
Howard posted 11 shutouts in 29 games in his inaugural season while maintaining a 1.00 goals against average. He won the 2003/04 Community Shield with United as well as the FA Cup, becoming the first American to win football's oldest knock out trophy. He was also voted on to the PFA Team of the Year, following in the footsteps of fellow American Brad Friedel.
But a last minute howler which allowed Porto to score and eliminate United from the Champions League in March 2004 rang warning bells and Howard was soon being replaced by Roy Carroll between the United sticks.
In May 2005 a week before Carroll was released, Howard penned a new deal to keep him at the club until 2009 but the following month Alex Ferguson signed Fulham's Edwin Van der Sar as his No.1, a decision which left Howard fuming.
The Dutchman kept Howard out of the starting line up for all but six games in the 2005/06 season, three of which were League Cup ties and two in the FA Cup.
Howard played for United in Roy Keane's testimonial on May 9th 2006, the same day as a season long loan to Everton was announced. Over three seasons with United, Howard had played 77 times for the first team in all competitions.
Tim is perhaps known as much for his work off the field as on it. Since going public with his Tourette's Syndrome, Howard has become a spokesman for those with the condition and is very active in creating awareness by serving on the Board of Directors for the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey.
Howard secured a season-long loan move to Everton during the summer of 2006. After playing well as the Toffee #1 for several months, the American was purchased outright by David Moyes and signed to a five-year contract.
Howard certainly proved a big hit from the onset with the Everton fans, putting in some solid performances that underwrote Everton's fine start to the 2006-07 season. There were soon cries for the loan deal to be made permanent as the confidence he gave the Everton defence was tangible.
The clamour for Everton to sign Howard permanently became deafening in the January 2007 transfer window... but nothing happened. Then, on Valentine's Day, a five-year deal was announced, for an "undisclosed" fee, believed to be around ?3M.
The deal was reported somewhat confusingly, though. Some said it would not kick in until after the season ended, that Howard remained on loan, and would be excluded from playing against Man Utd on 28 April 2007. He did not play in that pivotal game... but the explanations turned out to be much more murky.
Tim Howard did indeed become a full and permanent Everton player, ending his loan deal, on 14 February 2007. According to FAPL rules, Everton could have played him against Manchester United but agreed not to under the terms of a "gentleman's agreement", in the case that United were still in with a shout for the Premiership title! By agreeing not to play him, Everton accepted a third-party influence on team selection, and that is illegal under the FAPL Rules.
It was a pity that the incident would overshadow a tremendous season for Tim Howard where he seemed to put his prior inconsistencies behind him and cemented his place as first-choice goalkeeper at Goodison Park.
Howard made his first appearance for the national team in 2002, keeping a clean sheet against Ecuador and followed with a second shutout in the USA's final match of the year, a 2-0 win over El Salvador.
In 2003, he made seven appearances for the national team. He posted two more shutouts, including 0-0 draws against Mexico and against Cameroon in the final match of the Confederations Cup. Despite the scorelines, he was named Man of the Match for his stellar performances against Turkey and Brazil in France.
Howard started three World Cup 2006 qualifying games, including the clinching 3-0 victory over Panama. In April of 2006, he was named to Bruce Arena's US World Cup squad but did not make it off the bench for any of the three US games in Germany.
Howard finally seemed to take the USMNT #1 shirt when he backstopped back-to-back wins over Mexico and Ecuador in early 2007.