Tim Howard: “Since my retirement in October, my obsession for football has grown.” (Photo courtesy of Memphis 901 FC)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In what could be a first, Tim Howard the player could be commented on by Tim Howard the minority owner and Tim Howard the sporting director of Memphis 901 FC.
That’s because Howard came out of retirement on Wednesday to play goal for the USL Championship club.
Principal owner Peter B. Freund and team president Craig Unger announced the signing of Howard, pending league and federation approval.
Howard, a U.S. men’s national team standout, retired from professional soccer in October after starting his career with the MetroStars before continuing it in England with Manchester United and Everton and completing it with the Colorado Rapids in MLS.
“Since my retirement in October, my obsession for football has grown,” Howard said. “The desire to win continues to drive me. I love to play, and I love to compete, this gives me the opportunity to do both.”
Said Freund: “As both an owner and our sporting director, Tim’s deep desire to win, driven by outworking the competition, is what has come to define 901 FC’s culture. Today’s announcement, that Tim will represent the city of Memphis as our goalkeeper, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who understands the fire that still burns inside of him.”
Head Coach Tim Mulqueen believed that this sentiment will extend to the rest of the team.
“When he’s in the locker room as a player, he will act as a player,” he said. “His focus is only going to be on winning. There will be very clear lines that the players will recognize.”
Howard’s decision to come out of retirement comes from his passion for Memphis. He wants to represent this city and help soccer grow here.
“I’ve made a commitment to the city and people of Memphis to build a perennial playoff team. One whose goal continues to be lifting the Eastern Conference trophy and ultimately bringing the USL Cup to AutoZone Park,” he said.
Howard began his career with the MetroStars, before moving on to the English Premier League and amassing 399 league appearances for Manchester United and Everton. During this time, he collected 121 caps for the U.S. men’s national team and appeared at three World Cups – most notably against Belgium in 2014 – where he registered a record 16 saves.
He will make his Memphis debut when it opens the season against Indy Eleven at AutoZone Park on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.