Major League Soccer has landed yet another star aging out of his role with a high-profile European club. However, unlike the majority of international stars crossing the Atlantic, this is not a relocation — this is a homecoming.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard will make his debut for the Colorado Rapids after spending the 13 seasons playing in the English Premier League, the last 10 for Everton. Howard, 37, has recorded more than 100 international appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team, and last played in MLS 2003 for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls.)
Reports started circulating in February a transfer to the MLS was in the works, and he’s set to make his first appearance for the Rapids tonight at 9 PM, as they take on the defending MLS champion Portland Timbers. Howard, might not be a world class goalkeeper anymore, but he should still be an effective player — if not a star— in the MLS.
Back when the deal was announced, Howard said he is not worried about the added pressure that comes with the high salary. He joins Colorado partway through the MLS season, and he’s jumping right into a playoff chase, as the Rapids have had a wonderful start to the season, currently sitting atop the Western Conference with 32 points, one point ahead of FC Dallas. He joins another aging USMNT veteran, Jermaine Jones, and together they’ll try to lead Colorado to the Rapids first playoff berth since 2013.
Howard expressed his desire to continue playing for the USMNT, but that he wants to play soccer at the club level beyond the 2018 World Cup as well. The deal with the Rapids, which will carry him into his age-40 season, allowed him to do this.
“The possibility of extending my career an extra, nearly, two seasons is something that was for me, one of the major factors,” Howard said. “Sometimes, it’s business, and you have to make those decisions. … I’m human like everyone else. When [Colorado] came calling and laid out some of the ideas that they had, I was very interested in it.”