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Everton Friendlies: Tim Howard May Not Appear

Liverpool-based Everton FC will begin their brief United States Preseason Tour tomorrow night, as they face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. In a blow for fans of the US Men’s National Team, it was reported this afternoon by Steven Goff (Twitter @SoccerInsider) that goalkeeper Tim Howard would not be appearing for Everton in their friendly against the Union. It is also unclear if Howard will be available for their match with DC United on Saturday night.

For National Team fans who typically root from their couch or local pub, the primary draw to attending a friendly with Everton is Tim Howard. Considered currently to be one of the top netminders in the world, he represents the best our Men’s National Team has to offer. There are other Americans in Europe who rank highly with fans, such as Clint Dempsey or Michael Bradley. But Howard epitomizes American football’s main contribution to the footballing world, a veritable diamond mine of quality goalkeepers.

The official statement about his release from duty claims that he remains on holiday. There are some questions as to the legitimacy of this reasoning, but you can’t deny that he spent a full month on international duty in the Gold Cup. With all of that being said, as the ambassador for Everton to the American fan, Howard’s absence will be remarkable. He is held in high regard by most fans, and he runs the risk of alienating those who support the USMNT on the World Stage.

The Union have indicated that this was Everton’s call, and that they were unaware of this until very recently. I tend to believe this, because a series of posts on Facebook indicated that he was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia today. Obviously the Union (and DC) used Howard’s celebrity to spur along their marketing campaign. If this was a last-minute decision by Everton, it wouldn’t surprise me if this adds strain to the relationship between the Toffees and the two Major League Soccer outfits, who are now forced to assuage disappointed fans.

Fortunately for Philadelphians, Tim Howard should appear for the United States in their friendly with Mexico in August. In addition, the USMNT played a match at RFK Stadium during the Gold Cup in June, so DC area fans have had the opportunity to support Howard recently. But that still does not help those who purchased tickets specifically to see the North Brunswick, New Jersey native this week.

In the end, Howard does have some justification to extend his break, and it’s unfortunate that many will have paid to see Tim Howard with his club team. One hopes that these matches prove to be entertaining, and that fans will feel satisfied that their money was well spent.

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  1. Anonymous

    July 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    A break well deserved for Howard. If anyone would like to look at a good soccer blog, click on my link.

  2. Charles

    July 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Give me a break.

    There are two articles on soccer posted today and not one of you even commented on them.

    Oh yeah Alex, Union beats Everton. Not that I care, or ever thought you knew anything about soccer.

    • DLH

      July 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Charles, is it possible for you to post a comment that doesn’t insult another poster, and which discusses soccer?

      PS – Talking about what someone else said about a website article isn’t “talking about soccer.”

      • Don Garbers

        July 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm


        Thank you for your loyal support. You support me even though I have destroyed the US Game and Player development.

  3. Chris G

    July 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    It also happens to be summer so many of the writers (myself included although I’ve only written two articles) are busy with other things such as moving, vacation, work stuff etc and haven’t been able to watch matches or write. Once mid August rolls around and people settle in more then I’m sure that the MLS articles will pick up again.

    As for this article, I was on the fence about going to the DCU/Everton match because the heat index is supposed to be something like 110+ and I just saw Timmy and the boys play Jamaica in the Gold Cup. This news will make me feel less guilty about missing the match. I can’t even go to tonight’s match against the Revs because of class (see reasons why articles aren’t being written about matches).

  4. Preston K.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Also Charles I’ve seen your comments before, all you talk about is attendance figures, prices on tickets, and talking down to anyone who critics mls by labeling them a eurosnob. That’s not soccer at all. That seems the only times you show up when some one argues against mls. If I’ve seen you actually talk about soccer before then I’d give your “rant” credibility. But you only seem to call anyone who critics mls a moron to make yourself feel better about the status of mls. Never once have I seen you comment on a crucial play or on a game in general, I’ve only seen you comment how great mls is and that everyone should love mls cuz if they don’t they are morons. And ticket prices and parity and that’s it. I’m sure you can talk soccer, but I haven’t been convinced yet . So I’m glad you’re not going to show up for a long time.

  5. Dave C

    July 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

    But that still does not help those who purchased tickets specifically to see the North Brunswick, New Jersey native this week.

    The lesson to be learned here is that you don’t buy tickets to see an individual player, you buy a ticket to see two teams. Who the manager picks for the starting line-up is his business. Didn’t people learn that when Beckham first came to MLS? I have no sympathy for these people.

    • Alex

      July 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Totally agree. And honestly you can take that argument a bit further, if you buy tickets you go to see your team play. Like Preston k said its not like they are playing against a third division club, its everton. Now I know this is just a overhyped friendly but no matter who or what team plays like you said you go to see a game not a name. And frankly I don’t think union will put any chances on everton anyways.

      • Matthew

        July 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

        I support few teams (whether it be soccer, football, hockey or baseball) but there are individual players that I do enjoy to watch. So, yes I would buy a ticket to see an individual player and if the manager decided not to play him then it’s my money to waste.

  6. Preston K.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Charles if you’re gonna talk soccer then go ahead and talk, then go away. We don’t need people like you looking down at people and insulting left and right just cuz you think you’re the almighty god of soccer knowledge. You have no help to give anyone and honestly no one needs it. Just comment about soccer, not about how you’re better than anyone else and go away.

    Anyways I think its a shame Howard won’t be playing against union it would be a show for the fans, especially after the wwc. But union fans shouldn’t be too displeased I mean their playing against everton. Beggars can’t be choosers. Plus I don’t live in Chester but if I did I would be supporting union no matter who comes to play. Howards absence shouldn’t be enough to put offanyone to come to see union. I would like too see the everton union support ratio. I’m pretty sure union fans will be the minority, in their own home

    • DerekW

      July 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      I’m an Everton fan and a Union fan.

      I was wearing my Union gear and supporting the U at the game.

      When the toffees play in dc, I’ll be wearing blue.

  7. Charles

    July 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Speaking of jokes:

    3 out of the last 6 articles are about friendlies
    1 was about a cancelled game because of a friendly

    and one actually about MLS Soccer.
    On a MLS Talk website.
    Seriously. Look it up.

    The problem with these articles is if you post about dumb games, you are get dumb posters.
    The conversation is great, but when the conversation is some guy trying to make himself feel great because he knows that MLS stinks, it is very annoying to people that actually love soccer.

    I am here to talk soccer, not be a therapy session for the losers in life to feel better.
    I hope the morons get help, but not from me on this site.

    Sorry Earl, my rant isn’t with you specifically. I will be back for the articles about actual soccer….which means I will probably be gone a long time.

    • Earl Reed

      July 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      There are a lot of distracting tournaments and friendlies happening right now, Charles. The MLS schedule has been lighter, and in general terms I think MLS puts these matches in the forefront. Nearly all of these friendlies have been on the ESPN family or FSC. Their accessibility is higher, and their promotion is stronger as well.

      I’m glad I didn’t write an article about the inequities of the All-Star selection process…

    • DLH

      July 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Charles isn’t a fan of the game of soccer; in fact, he brags that he doesn’t watch or follow any overseas leagues, only MLS. Charles is an MLS fan, not a soccer fan. Not that he ever actually talks about soccer ever- all he does is talk about other posters and call them “morons,” “losers,” and “dumb.”

      Of course, if I was a Sounders fan who constantly claims the EPL is overrated, I’d be hiding right about now after the 7-0 thrashing that Man United’s third string gave the Seattle Attendance Statistics, er, I mean Sounders.

      • Robert

        July 21, 2011 at 11:38 am


        If I were you I would keep my mouth shut. Man U. crushed Sounders 7-0 in a FRIENDLY. I love how Man U. embarrassed the Sounders on its home field.

      • Clampdown

        July 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

        A lot of red shirts in that crowd last night.

        • Matthew

          July 22, 2011 at 5:37 am

          I know I was at the game.

  8. Charles

    July 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Like we needed more proof that these friendlies are a joke.

  9. Alex

    July 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Good for him to still be on vacation. He needs it. And frankly its not like everton is going against anyone big. Take it easy Howard but come qualifiers you better haul ass again.

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