Tim Howard signs with Colorado Rapids, will join MLS club in summer

It's official: Tim Howard is coming back to Major League Soccer.

The Colorado Rapids on Sunday announced that they have signed the US national team legend to a Designated Player contract from English Premier League side Everton. He will join the club when the summer transfer window opens on July 4.

Howard will participate in a live Q&A on the Colorado Rapids' Facebook page at 3 pm ET on Sunday, just two hours before the Rapids face D.C. United in a league match on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (MLS LIVE in Canada).

The Rapids had the first option to sign Howard, courtesy of their placement atop the Allocation Ranking order, which determines which MLS clubs have the first right to sign players from a pool of names which includes several US national team stars based abroad. Colorado now drops to the bottom of the Allocation Ranking order and Howard's acquisition brings the list down to 29 players.

The signing is the latest move by the Rapids, who have bolstered their squad with the recent acquisitions of USMNT veteran midfielder Jermaine Jones, Guatemalan international Marco Pappa and Basel star Shkelzen Gashi.

Howard, 37, has been with Everton since 2006, first joining on loan and then on a permanent transfer from fellow English Premier League side Manchester United, where he previously won an FA Cup and League Cup. With Everton, he ranks 13th all-time in appearances for the club.

His signing with the Rapids represents a return to MLS, where he played form 1998-2003 with the MetroStars. He was the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2001 and an MLS Best XI honoree in 2001 and 2002.

Howard has been a US national team player since 2002 and has collected the most caps of any goalkeeper in the nation's history (106). That list of appearances includes two World Cup tournaments (2010 and 2014), the memorable 2009 Confederations Cup run and the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where the USA beat Mexico in the final.

The New Jersey native became a household name in the United States following his standout performance against Belgium in the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup, winning Man of the Match honors in a losing battle while notching a record 16 saves in the game.