Season Countdown: 4 days until #MLSisBack, Tim Howard's final season

The wait is almost over: We are just 4 days from #MLSisBack, which will be Tim Howard's fourth (and final) season with the Colorado Rapids. 

Tim Howard has been saving shots in a professional setting almost as long as Major League Soccer has been around. He made his MLS debut in 1998 and announced that this season, 21 years later, will be his last. 

One of the nation's greatest goalkeepers, Howard has left a cascading trail of fantastic moments, memories and accolades over the last two decades. 

Howard won 2001 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year with the MetroStars, earning a move to Manchester United just a year-and-a-half later. He won the 2004 FA Cup with the club before moving to Everton, becoming a fan favorite for more than a decade with the team before returning to MLS, signing with the Colorado Rapids. He helped lead the club to the Western Conference Championship in 2016, getting there with a penalty shootout win the round before over the LA Galaxy.

All the while, Howard was U.S. Soccer's Secretary of Defense, putting in top performance after top performance with the US national team. We all remember his heroic 15-save performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup Round of 16 loss, but how about his distribution that led to Landon Donovan's iconic goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup Group Stage, allowing the USMNT to advance? There were many more-- so many more. Too extensive to name, we all have our own favorite that comes to mind.

But Howard hopes he's not done making memories. And the soon-to-be 40-year-old believes he's got the squad to do so.

“I think this will be the most talented team in Rapids history, even more talented than when this team won the title in 2010," Howard said in January. "That puts the pressure on us. A few of the boys came in and told me ‘damn, Tim, we got to win now’, for their own careers, and I’m like ‘trust me, I understand what you mean.’ There’s pressure, but pressure’s good.”

With MLS-experienced offseason additions by way of Kei Kamara, Benny Feilhaber, Diego Rubio and Keegan Rosenberry this winter, the Rapids surely are improved from last year's porous finish. 

But the rest of the league got better, too. Can the Rapids make Howard's final season special?


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