After being unable to work out a deal for FC Nantes’ Alejandro Bedoya, the Colorado Rapids are looking at bringing in an even bigger name, long time U.S. Men’s National Team and current Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, according to ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle.
The Rapids traded for the Chicago Fire’s top allocation spot (MLS’ system used to place most USMNT and other reasonably big name players) during Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft. Rumors surfaced that Colorado made the trade to obtain Bedoya but his current club team, French team FC Nantes, will not make him available this transfer window. This prompted a rather cryptic tweet from Bedoya that may or may not have to do with him moving on.
— Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17) January 14, 2016
The Rapids are moving on and looking to bring back Howard, who hasn’t played in MLS since 2003. Howard has had a rather inconsistent English Premier League season and prompted criticism from Everton fans, wanting backup Joel Robles to come in and get some playing time.
Even though he remains Everton starter, one has to wonder if time has caught up to the 36 year old. A clean sheet against Manchester City on Wednesday went a long way for Howard to get back on track, but apart from that, he’s only had three clean sheets since August and those were against relegation fighters Newcastle, Aston Villa and Swansea. Everton manager Roberto Martinez said that it was “impossible to say” if Howard will stay at Everton. He is under contract with Everton until 2018 so it may take a bit of transfer money if Colorado really wanted to get him.
It may be the right time for Howard to come back to MLS and to the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids already have a great goalkeeper in Clint Irwin but I’m pretty sure if given the chance, Colorado would get Tim Howard. Apparently Colorado has been focused on getting a Mexico and U.S. international player this offseason in order to make the team better as well as get some more butts in the seats. Colorado likely has their Mexico international as Olympiacos forward Alan Pulido will likely be in Colorado on a one year loan.
Now, with Bedoya out of the picture, Howard is next on Colorado’s list of USMNT players sought. Whether or not they get him will remain to be seen. Even if he goes to MLS, Everton won’t sell him this winter so that won’t match Colorado’s goal of getting a Mexico and USMNT player this offseason. Best case scenario, Colorado will get him in the summer, during the middle of the MLS season. If Colorado is willing to wait six months and Howard feels like moving back to the United States and feels he has nothing left to give in the EPL, this could be a great partnership.
I, however, don’t think this will happen. At least not yet. Howard is under contract until 2018 and I fully believe he wants to fulfill that contract, play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and either retire or come back to MLS to finish out his career. Whether that becomes his choice is anybody’s guess.