US national team, World Cup player profile: Tim Howard

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As steady as a rock, that is Tim Howard.

The USMNT starting goalkeeper and one of its most accomplished players in history, the Everton netminder has been with the US senior squad since his debut in 2002.

He was the backup for a number of years, sitting behind Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller for a few years before being installed as first-choice goalkeeper by Bob Bradley in the 2007 Gold Cup final, and he never looked back.

Howard began his club career with the New Jersey Imperials and New York Metrostars before he caught Manchester United’s eye in 2003.  Howard started under Sir Alex Ferguson for for three years before losing out to the legendary Edwin van der Sar.  United’s trash was Everton’s treasure, and Howard has been in Merseyside since signing in 2006.

Having had both international and club success, Howard is without a doubt one of the most successful American players in the country’s history, and he remains the anchor that holds the squad aground, lest they drift out to sea.

However, Howard’s age is slowly becoming a concern, if only by number alone, and once in a blue moon moments of sluggishness give US fans pause to think about the future.

MORE: USMNT player profiles

Full name: Timothy Matthew Howard

Age: 35

Position: Goalkeeper

Caps/goals: 98/0

Club: Everton

Best moment in a US shirt: Tim Howard has had a long, storied career in net for the US, and as it is for most goalkeepers, consistency is a bigger indication of success than one or two moments.  However, his performance in the 1-1 draw with England in the first match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa remains a stellar mark on his resume. He made a great save in a one-on-one situation with Emile Heskey, went full-stretch to stop a Frank Lampard howitzer just under the crossbar, and stood tall to one straight at him from Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Tim Howard is the man for the US in goal, as he has been for the last seven years, unless injury or other unforeseen circumstances force him out. Starter, end of.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).