Tim Howard believes Clint Dempsey's high-profile transfer to the Seattle Sounders is the right move for the former Tottenham Hotspur attacker, though he doesn't expect to join his US national team colleague on this side of the pond any time soon.
“I've known Clint a long time,” said the veteran goalkeeper in a media conference call on Thursday. “I have not gotten a chance to speak to him since the move, [but] I know Clint and I know his family. If this is a decision that he's happy with, then I'm excited for him. I think it's great for MLS and Seattle, and apparently it's great for him, or he wouldn't have done it.”
U.S. Soccer has yet to release the roster for next week's international friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, but Howard gave the impression that he and Dempsey will both be called in for the Yanks' latest European test.
“I'm a firm believer that you get one career and one career only, and he has to do what's best for Clint and his family,” continued Howard. “I'm looking forward to catching up with him next week and hearing all about it.”
He also dismissed the idea that Dempsey's play with the national team might suffer without the high-intensity environment of the English Premier League to push him.
“Clint's not a little boy, he's a seasoned veteran,” said Howard. “He knows what he needs and what it takes to perform at the highest level. So there's no question that I think Seattle and MLS can offer him that.”
Like Dempsey, Howard made his name as a standout in MLS before crossing the Atlantic to test himself in the EPL. On Thursday, however, he declined to speculate about the prospects of his own homecoming in anything more than the most general terms, noting that he has ample time remaining on his current contract with Everton FC.
“I'm American, so when my time in England and Europe is done, I'm going to live in America,” said Howard, explaining that he felt it was “disrespectful” to Everton to discuss possibilities with other clubs at the moment. “If I’m fit and healthy when that time comes, I think anything's possible.”
In fact, he made it clear that he has no intentions of vacating his current club, nor the starting spot he's held for the Toffees for years, even with the arrival of new manager Roberto Martinez, who signed his countryman Joel Robles as Everton's newest 'keeper last month.
“I've never asked for assurances. I know where I stand,” Howard said. “I think my performances over the last 450 [career] games have merited my place where I am right now. So unless I've been asleep for a few months and forgotten something, I think all is pretty well in my camp.”