Goalkeeper Tim Howard delivered a great performance in his Major League Soccer debut, making two key second-half saves in the Colorado Rapids’ 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver on Monday night.

Tim Howard Keeps Clean Sheet In MLS Debut As Rapids Tie 0-0 With Timbers

Howard, 37, had spent the past 13 years in the English Premier League, most recently with Everton FC. One scarf available to fans dubs him the “secretary of defense,” a title he lived up to after blocking shots from the Timbers’ Darren Mattocks and Lucas Melano in the second half. Howard dove to his right to stop Mattocks’ right-footed shot in the 54th minute and denied Melano with his foot 10 minutes later.

The goalie began his career with the North Jersey Imperials– with whom he spent one season– in 1997 before heading to the New York MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), and then making his big move to Manchester United in 2003.

There he won the 2003 FA Community Shield, the 2003–04 FA Cup and the 2005–06 League Cup but was sent on loan to Everton in 2006 when United signed Dutchman Edwin van der Sar. 


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Howard then became a permanent member of Everton in February 2007 and ended with an emotional speech to the club’s faithful at the end of last season in which he said, “I will remain an Evertonian for life. This will always be my team, my club.”

Colorado acquired Howard through allocation after the Rapids secured the No. 1 spot in the ranking order.

Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson had four saves for his second shutout of the season.

Howard also recently started for the US Men’s National Team in their 1-0 loss against Colombia in the third-place match of the Copa America Centenario on June 25. He is the highest-paid goalkeeper in MLS by far, earning $2,575,000 in guaranteed compensation, according to the most recent MLS Players Union documents. The Rapids sat atop the MLS Western Conference standings with 32 points through 16 games entering Monday.

Obviously, the MLS has changed significantly since Howard last played in it 13 years ago, as have several other major soccer leagues around the world. Howard discussed these changes and explained the reasons behind his return in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated Now.

“It’s night and day,” Howard said of the MLS changes. “The league that I left looks nothing like it does today. That’s what brought me back, just the excitement of playing in some of these new stadiums. When I left, that was just a dream, you know, for teams to have their own stadiums. Now, we’re attracting some of the world’s best players, and I’m really excited about the project that’s been put forth in Colorado.”

GLENDALE, AZ – JUNE 25: Goalkeeper Tim Howard #12 of United States walks on the pitch during the 2016 Copa America Centenario third place match against Colombia at University of Phoenix Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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