COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – With two regular season games remaining and a final home match looming for the Colorado Rapids, soccer fans will see the last minutes from Rapids designated player and goalkeeper Tim Howard, who announced at that start of 2019 that this would be the final season of his playing career.
Ahead of the Rapids’ final home game, Pro Soccer USA is taking a look back at some of Howard’s finest moments in Burgundy. Here are five highlights of Tim Howard’s time with the Colorado Rapids:
July 4, 2016 – Howard’s debut for Colorado
His first game for the Colorado was also his first clean sheet for his new club as the Rapids blanked a potent Portland Timbers attack at home on the Fourth of July.
The Independence Day match is annually the most attended match of the year for the Rapids, and the crowd was electric, gasping at every shot and cheering for every save that Howard made.
The decision to sign an aging goalkeeper as an MLS team’s highest paid player will always be a point of debate in MLS circles when looking back at Howard’s Rapids career, but at the time, his signing and subsequent debut was a display of ambition from a club that had struggled throughout its history. It gave fans a chance to see a recognizable name in the world’s game don the local colors.
November 6, 2016 – Penalty shootout win in playoffs over LA Galaxy
In 2016, the Colorado Rapids surprised many as they ascended to the top of the Western Conference table and became the eventual No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Hosting their first playoff game in five seasons, the Rapids pulled back a 1-0 deficit on aggregate thanks to a first half wonder goal from Shkëlzen Gashi.
With the series tied on aggregate after 120 minutes, it went to penalties and Howard’s saves of Ashley Cole and Jeff Larentowicz helped propel Colorado to the Western Conference Championship.
During his time with the Rapids, Howard has spent time meeting children from around the country who are diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. The kids usually get a swag bag and a chance to meet and chat with Howard, who himself was diagnosed with Tourette’s as a child. The program serves as both a community outreach and as a method for Howard to increase awareness of the condition.
Last night we had two #HowardsHeroes! Jack, age 13, was diagnosed with TS 2 years ago and enjoys soccer, skiing, basketball and video games. Michael, age 12, was diagnosed with TS in February, and loves to dance. Always an honor to meet these kids! pic.twitter.com/2FBUZJ222f
— Tim Howard (@TimHowardGK) September 12, 2019
October 15, 2017 – Lone win of Rapids career against rivals RSL
For the duration of his time with Colorado, Real Salt Lake and Howard’s former U.S. Youth National Team roommate Nick Rimando got the better of Howard. A 1-0 win over RSL in 2017 will stand alone as Howard’s lone Rocky Mountain Cup win, and it was a hard earned victory.
After Josh Gatt put Colorado ahead early in the third minute, it was a lot of defending for the remaining 87 minutes of the match, and Howard was the catalyst for the win, notching seven saves to preserve the clean sheet.
July 1, 2018 – Ten-save performance against Vancouver Whitecaps.
On the four-year anniversary of his 16-save effort against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup, Howard put forth arguably his best performance in net for Colorado, notching ten saves and a clean sheet in Colorado’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 2, 2018
It was on a night where the Whitecaps put in 25 shots on goal, with an attack led by current Colorado Rapids teammate Kei Kamara.