Everton struck gold at the World Cup this summer. With the United States encapsulated by the performances of their national team in Brazil, the country tuned in for the second round clash with Belgium. It was in this game that Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard produced one of the iconic World Cup displays, thrusting Everton to front-and-center of the world stage.
American audiences had bought into the hype of the Brazil World Cup and soccer in general, especially with Howard’s display causing plenty of stir. So it was no surprise that in the immediate aftermath of that second round contest, the Official Everton Twitter account posted a link, pointing supporters in the direction of where they could buy themselves a Howard No. 24 jersey.
While this was—and subsequently has been—a wonderful chance for Everton to tap into the American market, the links between the Merseyside outfit and the States have actually been longstanding and well established. Something that was emphasized in earnest when speaking with David Kurtz of EvertonUSA.
“Everton has a long history of being USMNT-friendly,” said David. And it’s easy to see why. Not only have Howard and more recently Landon Donovan donned the famous and white, but men like Marcus Hahnemann, Joe-Max Moore, Preki and Brian McBride too. The chants of “U-S-A” have consequently long rung out from the Gwladys Street end.
Subsequently, Everton have always been a lingering presence stateside, and naturally one of the most well known and most popular Premier League teams. But after Howard’s displays in Brazil, Everton USA has noticed a major upturn in interest in the Toffees.
“Tim Howard has simply been the lightning rod for US fans finding the Club and the minute the USA-Belgium game ended we saw massive signups on our Facebook and Twitter feeds which now rival and/or surpass the ‘Big 4’.”
But Howard wasn’t the only one shining out in Brazil. The club’s manager Roberto Martinez was a pundit for ESPN, and his effervescent, insightful opinions impressed all during World Cup 2010 and 2014. David told me that if Everton are to continue making waves stateside then their manager will continue to play a critical role.
“Roberto has also attracted some big talent to the Club. Watching Samuel Eto’o score goals in an Everton kit during a European game is a dream most Evertonians could never have thought would happen. Between Roberto and Tim Howard, it’s easy to argue that Everton were big winners of the US market this World Cup.”
The significance of making an impression across the pond is something the Toffees seem to be acutely aware of, and therefore, it’s little surprise that Everton USA is now an official partner of the club. That tag allows the organization to sell tickets to games, retail official merchandise and launch bespoke schemes for their members.
“I think they find our success hard to believe but once we proved that there is demand for the Everton brand in the US, they jumped on-board with both feet,” David explains. “We interact with them weekly if not daily actually and they roll out the red carpet when we come to town. EvertonUSA would be far less special without the Club’s active participation and unwavering support.”