Tim Howard’s wonder World Cup performance won yielded a quick conversation with the President of the United States, Barack Obama, following the United States’ exit from the 2014 World Cup in June.
Sixteen saves put the Everton goalkeeper at the forefront of headlines in Brazil, and while it was a nervous moment when he actually had to received a call from the Commander-in-chief, Howard believes that talking directly to Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson was more alarming.
And his logic makes sense for the most part; if Sir Alex wants a word with someone in person, it could have the subject of something bad. But talking to the President after the contest vs. Belgium, all the 35-year-old had to do was accept praise over the phone.
“Going into the dressing room, the president’s not going to yell at me,” Howard said of the comparison. “If David Moyes or Ferguson yells at you, it’s the worst thing in the world.”
He also reminisced a bit about the moment when he was told that the President, who was involved in the World Cup in more ways than one, wished to have a word with him.
“It was set up. You just get a knock on your door from the team administrator, who says: ‘Right, downstairs in five minutes.’ And you just go. There’s not much else to do or say.
“And you try not to say anything stupid, because you know that if you do, then forever it’ll be: ‘You said something dumb to the President.’ You don’t want to do that.”
Howard felt that the interaction between him and Obama was one that demonstrated the growing significance of soccer in America.
“It was a big moment. That certainly lets you know that soccer’s arrived in the States, and that what you as a team did captivated people. The President doesn’t ring people out of the blue, so you know you’ve done something well.”