4
Jul

Tim Howard shows epic defense again as he blocks a hug from a fan

Tim Howard has become something of a national hero after his unbelievable string of saves ensured the USA came out of the World Cup with their heads held high.
Memes, a petition to the White House and phone calls from Barack Obama - just some of the hullabaloo surrounding Howard’s heroics.
The Everton and US keeper returned to Los Angeles to an excited mob of fans at LAX. He seemed happy to pose for photos and sign autographs, but one male fan decided to go too far and dive in for the hug. Just as at the World Cup, Howard denied the man access.
(H/T: NESN)
2
Jul

Tim Howard gets call from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard became America’s favorite bailout plan on Tuesday night, and with good reason.

The USA netminder made 16 heart-stopping saves in USA’s 2-1 defeat Belgium — the most by any goalkeeper in a World Cup match since 1966. His exploits set the internet ablaze and got fans calling for the renaming of the Ronald Reagan Airport in his honor.

Now, the Pentagon joined in on the praise with Secratary of Defense Chuch Hagel calling the USA soccer hero after Hagel’s “Secretary of Defense of the United States of America” Wikipedia page was replaced with an image of Howard in action.

Per an official release from the United States Department of Defense:

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard to thank him for defending the United States of America at the World Cup. Secretary Hagel congratulated Howard on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil. He invited Howard and the entire team to come to the Pentagon later this year. He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense.”

And that’s not all! 

Later, President Barack Obama also dialed up Tim Howard, as well as captain Clint Dempsey to commend the team for their valiant performance.

2
Jul

USA fans petition to have Reagan Airport renamed after Tim Howard

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Tim Howard fever has well and truly taken over the USA’s post-World Cup reaction. The keeper has become so popular that some fans started an official White House petition to rename Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after Howard.

Despite the USA’s dramatic 2-1 extra-time defeat to Belgium on Tuesday, Premier League goalie Howard came out smelling of roses with a heroic effort in between the sticks.

The fans started the petition on a section of the White House website calling for the renaming of the Ronald Reagan Airport.

“We politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America,” the petition read.

Any member of the public can start a petition on the “We the People” site, launched by the White House to give the people a voice. If the petition gets enough support — usually 100,000 signatures — then the White House staff will review it and issue an official response.

The man from New Jersey with an impressive beard managed a record-breaking 16 saves — the most in a World Cup match since 1966 — even inspiring a social media meme with the hashtag #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave…

…and a change in the Wikipedia page for the U.S. Secretary of Defense:

Following their exit, an emotional Howard shared words of encouragement for the national team going forward.

“The dream fell short, but this is an incredible group, and we’ll never forget this night,” he said. 

(H/T Chicago Tribune)

28
Jun

USA superfan gets Tim Howard haircut to celebrate national team’s success

Following Tim Howard’s heroics as part of the United States men’s national team’s success at the 2014 World Cup, one hardcore fan got his hero etched into a fresh looking haircut resulting in Howard giving praise to the fan and barber on Twitter.

Check out the finished piece:

"Rob The Original" is the man responsible for the Howard restyle and a similar cut featuring Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa:

(H/T: USA Today)

6
May

Like tattoos? Then you’ll love Tim Howard

imageImage: Twitter/@petauk

Everton and US national team goalkeeper Tim Howard became the latest pro athlete to join PETA’s “Ink, Not Mink” campaign, stripping off to reveal his abundant collection of eye-catching tattoos.

In a video interview which you can view below, he discusses what drove him to be part of PETA’s campaign.

“Protecting animals is very important to me, and I think speaking out against fur is an amazing cause,” Howard told PETA. “When I see someone wearing fur, I just want to sit them down in front of one of PETA’s videos and show them just how badly animals suffer for this supposed fabric that no one needs.”

Other American athletes involved in the Ink, Not Mink campaign include NFL players Terrell Suggs, Willis McGahee, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Strahan, as well as boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and hoops players Ty Lawson and Metta World Peace.

H/T DailyMail
5
Mar

USA fail to impress in 2-0 exhibition loss to Ukraine

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The United States men’s national team slumped to the occasion in their 2-0 loss to Ukraine in a friendly marred by circumstances on Wednesday. Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic dealt Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad a harsh blow in a wholly deserved loss. It was the final game in which Klinsmann had his European-based players at his disposal before convening his World Cup camp in mid-May, and he cannot have been pleased with what he saw.

"This game helped us a lot to see where individual players are, collectively where we stand with this group of players," Klinsmann said on ESPN after the match. "Obviously we had to form a couple of new things there, starting from the back line — and you could see that, that they never played together that much."

His motley USA side, comprised of a few regulars and a slew of players on the bubble, were outsmarted by a cunning Ukrainian side. Knowing full-well where the Americans were weak, Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka tore their flanks to shreds while the high defensive line was pelted with through balls.

The tentative American defense let the Ukrainians stroll through its line several times early on. In the 12th minute, a simple ball over the top caught the central defensive pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks well out of position. That put Denys Harmash through on Tim Howard’s goal by himself. The American goalkeeper made a fine stop on his attempt, but Harmash coolly collected the rebound and laid it wide for Yarmolenko for him to pass the ball into the net.

Just a few minutes later, the Americans were caught out again on a clever play off a Ukrainian corner, but they were saved by a possibly erroneous offside call that time – Alejandro Bedoya actually appeared to keep the play onside. Sloppy and unimaginative in possession, the Yanks produced just two attacks of note in the entire first half. On the first, goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov alertly picked off the cross; on the second, Edgar Castillo’s cross wasn’t quite right and cleared. And they would give away several more fat chances, which a more incisive opponent might have punished, before the halftime whistle brought a respite.

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3
Aug

The ICC came, saw, and conquered Dodger Stadium

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Think back to a time when there were no preseason tournaments, no trophies to play for on baseball fields, and clubs simply resorted to friendlies against cupcake opponents as way to get ready for the season. How dull!

Thanks to the International Champions Cup (ICC), Los Angeles became the latest of US cities to host the newest — and really the most compelling — of preseason competitions. On Saturday night, it did not disappoint.

Four teams from four countries — Real Madrid, Juventus, Everton, and the hometown LA Galaxy — offered fans an entertaining night of soccer and, more importantly, the unique opportunity to see their favorite players in the flesh. While some preseason fixtures fall flat due to teams’ unwillingness to trot out their best sides, the International Champions Cup delivered.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Tim Howard, Andrea Pirlo and Landon Donovan all played at least one half to the clear approval of the fans. Every Ronaldo step-over was greeted with a rising ensemble of “ooh’s” and “aah’s.” USA chants rang out every time Howard touched the ball, and ladies in every section fainted at the sight of Pirlo’s herculean beard (okay, that last part was made up. Maybe. You really can’t be sure.)

The fans’ enthusiasm at Dodger Stadium was heard and felt throughout the night, and the players returned the favor with some fine showmanship. Ronaldo’s bravado was on full display, Howard made some truly outstanding saves, and the late consolation match between Juventus and LA was a high-energy affair thanks to LA taking the play to the Italian champions. In other words: the fans most definitely got their money’s worth.

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The tournament also provided some unintentionally funny moments;  Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez celebrating his goal against Gigi Buffon as if it was a World Cup final; the referee getting booed mercilessly for cutting a half 30 seconds short; Real Madrid’s Kaka — merely a rotation player now — receiving by far the loudest cheers of the night. It were those quirky moments within the competition that reminded us it’s still the preseason (well, except for LA). Yet, they also added to the charm of the International Champions Cup.

In the end, there will be one champion lifting up a trophy. But to the fans, the media, and maybe even some of the players, Saturday night could be summed up by one thought: is the preseason supposed to be this much fun?

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22
Jun

USMNT legends at Carlos Bocanegra’s celebrity golf tournament

Former United States men’s national players reunited for a good cause Friday during Carlos Bocanegra’s golf charity event to raise funds to build soccer fields near Bocanegra’s hometown in Southern California.

The former US captain, who is trying to regain a spot on the national team, is among 35 players on the American preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup next month. 

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