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Tim Howard to retire after 2019 season with Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard (1) yells to teammates during the first half against the Minnesota United FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports)

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – After 21 years of playing soccer professionally, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper and United States men’s national team legend Tim Howard is ready to hang it up. Howard announced the 2019 Major League Soccer season will be his last playing soccer.

“I’m greatly looking forward to kicking off the 2019 MLS season, as it will be my last,” Howard said through his official Twitter account. “There will be plenty of time for sentiment later. For now, I am going to enjoy every minute. And as I’ve always done, compete hard and help lead the Rapids with the sole purpose of winning.”

Entering the final season of his contract, Howard, 39, has averaged 3.42 saves per game through 75 starts with Colorado. After helping lead Colorado to the Western Conference Championship match in 2016, Howard and the Rapids have experienced a fair share of struggles the past two seasons, finishing second to last in the Western Conference in 2017 and 2018.

While “riding off into the sunset” is far from guaranteed, a busy offseason for Colorado — including the signings of Kei Kamara, Diego Rubio, Nicolás Mezquida, Keegan Rosenberry and USMNT teammate Benny Feilhaber — has given the Rapids a fighting chance to help Howard retire at the top of MLS.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do here. We’ve got a lot of games to win this year,” Howard said during a club interview. “I don’t really want [retirement] to be a distraction. It’s really secondary to us getting things right here.”

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