As one might suspect, Tim Howard is still processing all the thoughts and emotions. After facing LAFC last Sunday as part of Decision Day presented by AT&T, the Colorado Rapids goalkeeper officially retired.
The 40-year-old naturally has plenty of stories to tell, and some surfaced in an ESPN piece whereby Howard provides a first-person account of his extensive playing career overseas, in MLS and with the US men’s national team.
He went as far as to highlight a favorite teammate, too: Roy Keane. They overlapped at Manchester United, where Howard spent four years before making a permanent move to fellow Premier League club Everton.
“He was the toughest son of a b---- I ever met,” Howard relayed to ESPN about Keane. “Nothing short of brilliant. As a coach, he taught me about resilience. And never giving up on myself. I took so much of what I learned from being around him and used it over the rest of my career, trying to pass it along to the next generation.”
Not all of Howard’s anecdotes were positive, though. He recounted the fateful October 2017 night in Trinidad and Tobago that ensured the USMNT wouldn’t qualify for the following year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Howard was in goal for the 2-1 loss, forced to reckon with the fact he’d never play in another World Cup. It would have been his fourth such tournament after making the 2006, ‘10 and ‘14 rosters.
“That October night was the most horrific, miserable experience of my life, on and off the field,” Howard said. “It's impossible to put into words. Even now, two years later, the pain is still as raw as if it happened yesterday. Nothing makes it go away. But life goes on. You have no other choice.”
Those are some of the ways Howard peels back the curtain, with a legendary career for club and country now over. You can check out the full piece here, as the goalkeeping legend provides a sense of what comes next.