According to a report from ESPNFC’s Jeff Carlisle, USMNT keeper Tim Howard is on his way back to MLS to mind the net for the Colorado Rapids, who had one of their keepers do this not two years ago. Per the report, Howard dropped his insane $5 million per year demand and accepted a three-year contract worth $2 million annually.
Sources confirmed that Rapids general manager Tim Hinchey flew to England last week to finalize the deal with Howard and Everton. While a few small details remain — including final approval from Colorado’s ownership — Howard is expected to complete the Premier League season with Everton and then join the Rapids when the MLS summer transfer window opens in July. His contract will run until 2019.
Howard, who turns 37 in a few weeks, planned on staying at the Liverpool club through 2018, but seeing as how his form’s slipped recently and he’s been overtaken by Joel Robles, the move makes sense for him. He’ll make five times more than the second highest-paid goalkeeper in the league (Bill Hamid).
As for the Rapids, Howard will certainly be the best keeper they’ve had in a while. He’s one of the most visible USMT stars, despite his hiatus from the team and advanced age. He will make them a better team, but I don’t know if he’s worth that much money and a Designated Player slot. The Rapids have been up front regarding their desire to sign another DP, and Howard, while a great shot-stopper by MLS standards, is going to effect the game less than, say, Alan Pulido, who they’ve been linked with as well.
Colorado’s problems over the past few years have been that they can’t score. Last season, they allowed the second-fewest goals, but scored the fewest as well. Howard might help them cut down on that goals allowed number and transform the Rapids into the best defense in MLS, but he’s a shot-stopper more than an organizer, and the team’s biggest inefficiency is in front of goal.
This signing is, above all, a PR move. The Rapids have struck out with their DP signings lately, and Howard is a pretty safe bet to work out, as well as a beloved U.S. international. His is not the type of signing MLS teams should be prioritizing, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to watch Howard fly around, saving shots and yelling at people next year.
Photo via AP