Tim Howard: I moved to Colorado to cement 2018 World Cup hopes

0 Comments

USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard has been speaking about his move from Everton to the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.

Howard, 37, will join the Rapids in July after bringing an end to his 13-year career in the Premier League.

[ MORE: “Time was right” for Howard

The Everton goalkeeper will remain at Goodison Park until the end of the 2015-16 PL season and then head back to the U.S. to rejoin MLS after leaving the MetroStars in 2003.

Speaking to the media on U.S. national team duty ahead of the CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifier in Guatemala on Friday, Howard revealed the main reason for leaving England.

“I had two years left at the club that I love and I planned on playing those out until this opportunity came up,” Howard said. “For me it was an opportunity that Colorado offered that I just couldn’t pass up.

“It gives me a chance to be in the shop window for the next World Cup and the excitement about being in Colorado and building something. People don’t really care to hear that but for me that’s what has been the most important thing.”

Okay, so playing in the 2018 World Cup is obviously a big aim for Howard and with his deal at Everton taking him up until the summer of 2018 it would’ve perhaps put the perfect cap on his career to play in one big tournament and then call it quits. There was always a slight question mark surrounding his involvement in the 2018 World Cup and if, at the age of 39, he’d make it.

However with Joel Robles taking Howard’s starting spot in recent months after the New Jersey native suffered a calf injury, perhaps he could see that the writing was on the wall under Roberto Martinez and his chances of playing regularly for the Toffees would be diminishing in the coming seasons. That, coupled with increased levels of criticism from the Everton fans, led to Howard deciding to move on after 10 years on Merseyside.

It will be intriguing to see how USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann views Howard’s move back to MLS as the German coach still hasn’t named a definite starter in goal with Howard, Brad Guzan and David Bingham battling it out for the No. 1 jersey.

Surely Howard will be the USA’s top man between the posts in the lead up to and during the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the U.S. make it.

That said, the last time he played a first team game for Everton was on Jan. 24 so Guzan could be starting against Guatemala in the two qualifiers in the next week.