Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard works with aspiring keepers in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Just four days removed from playing for the U.S. national team's 1-0 Copa America consolation loss to Colombia, and just a day after being introduced as the Colorado Rapids' new goalkeeper, there was Tim Howard on a muggy Wednesday afternoon at Eckerd College. Howard, who has more wins (55) and appearances (109) than any keeper in U.S. national team history, was in town to appear at his Tim Howard School of Goalkeeping. The one-week camp in its fifth year, but its first at Eckerd College.

"No rest for the weary," Howard said.

Howard, 37, arrived in Tampa Bay at 5 a.m. Wednesday and spent the day with the 106 campers in town for the week. According to tournament director Gary MacMath, the camp saw keepers from Honduras, Finland, Nova Scotia and 25 states, including Hawaii.

Howard, who recently ended a 10-year run as the starter for the English Premier League's Everton, spent the day instructing and participating in various drills.

"It's unbelievable to be around the best goalkeeper that's ever played for our country," said camper Trevor Mulqueen, 16, who lives in Lakewood Ranch and plays keeper for the under-18 Chargers. "He's somebody you try to model your game after. You learn from everything he does, his positioning, his work ethic. Everything."

Howard began helping at the camp when it started five years ago in Lakewood Ranch. He lent his name to it soon after. As the camp grew, organizers began looking for a larger complex. They found Eckerd College.

"We just thought there was a market for a good goalkeeping academy and that was something we wanted to try and do," Howard said. "We wanted to revamp it and grow, and Eckerd has opened their doors for us. They've bent over backward to help us."

Howard is familiar with St. Petersburg. His parents own a home here and he bought a house on Snell Isle a year ago. He has had very little time to enjoy it, however.

Soon after the EPL season, Howard joined the national team. After Wednesday's camp, he caught another red-eye flight back to Denver. He will begin his tenure, and his return to Major League Soccer, with the Rapids tonight when they host Portland. In all, Howard will play for 18 months straight before getting a break.

When he is done playing professionally, Howard plans to settle in St. Petersburg. But he's not done just yet. His pro career started in 1998 with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars of MLS. In 2003 he went to Manchester United of the EPL then was loaned to Everton in 2006. He stayed with Everton until this past season and made 414 appearances with the club, 13th most in its 138-year history.

He has been a national team member since 2002 and rose to national prominence during the 2014 World Cup. He helped the United States advance to the knockout stage. Against Belgium, a 2-1 loss, he made a World Cup-record 16 saves.

This year, Howard has played behind Brad Guzan on the U.S. team. Though he is now the backup, Howard plans to be at the 2018 World Cup.

"I hope so," he said. "I've got to do a few things to get to that level. But I sure hope there is a World Cup in my future. That's the plan."

Contact Rodney Page at [email protected]. Follow @RodneyHomeTeam.

   
Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

The Rays' Blake Snell makes his All-Star debut with a memorable first pitch, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he likes the Rays' new stadium plans, and there is controversy at the Home Run Derby.Plus, Florida head coach Dan Mullen says the Gators ha...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Bucs’ new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Bucs’ new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Much of the focus on the Bucs upgrading their defensive line has been, understandably, that Tampa Bay finished last in the league in sacks last season, with just 22. But as Gerald McCoy pointed out several times in 2017, you can't get to the quarterb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County softball

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County softball

Player of the year: P Jodi Handler, Sr., AlonsoPitcher of the year: Ashley Blessin, Jr., Plant CityCoach of the year: Bob Diez, ChamberlainFirst teamP Haley Murphy, Sr., East BayP Shannon Maloney, Sr., ChamberlainP Gabby Vallee, Sr., ChamberlainP Cas...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bill Hancock talks College Football Playoff expansion (not happening) and UCF

Bill Hancock talks College Football Playoff expansion (not happening) and UCF

ATLANTA — College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock answered the question before it could even be asked."There is no talk about expansion among the university presidents and the conference commissioners who sit on our b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast softball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast softball team

Player of the year: P Alexis Kilfoyl, Jr., Academy at the LakesPitcher of the year: Callie Turner, Jr., Land O'LakesCoach of the year: Diane Stephenson, Academy at the LakesFirst teamP Melanie Rogers, Jr., River RidgeP Ali Shenefield, Jr., HernandoP ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
All-Star morning after: On Blake Snell’s opening act

All-Star morning after: On Blake Snell’s opening act

Willson Contreras had seen Rays lefty Blake Snell before.Five times over two 2017 games, and at least a couple of times in 2015 when they were both playing at Double-A.So the Cubs catcher had a good idea what to expect when Snell threw his first pitc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Live from ACC Kickoff: A few stories to follow

Live from ACC Kickoff: A few stories to follow

CHARLOTTE — Top of the morning from the Queen City, where college football's talking season continues in earnest with the start of the annual ACC Kickoff.The two-day event, featuring the head coach and select players from all 14 ACC schools, be...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gators’ offense clicks again

SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gators’ offense clicks again

ATLANTA — Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey knew the question was coming Tuesday during SEC media days.Is this the year the offense gets cranked up?"This is the only time I'm going to answer this question again," Ivey said. "Thi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
The Twitter controversy that marred All-Star Game

The Twitter controversy that marred All-Star Game

What had been a three-day feel-good All-Star celebration of baseball ended in some controversy on Tuesday night with Brewers reliever Josh Hader apologizing for a series of tweets from 2011-12 that contained racist, sexist and homophobic comments."Th...
Updated: 7 hours ago
MLB commissioner Manfred confident Rays owner is ‘going to get’ stadium deal done

MLB commissioner Manfred confident Rays owner is ‘going to get’ stadium deal done

WASHINGTON – Acknowledging both the challenges and urgency to work out a public-private financing plan, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday expressed extreme confidence in Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg to make a de...
Updated: 1 hour ago