The SBI Questions: Ask Tim Howard

Tim Howard 2 (ISIphotos.com)  

                                                                    Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. Men's national team is two months away from one of the busiest summers in recent memory, and no player will be more important to the team's success in World Cup qualifying and the Confederations Cup than Tim Howard.

As one of the national team's veteran leaders, and one of America's most respected players, Howard has seen his career blossom from his days as a young prospect on the MetroStars. The Everton standout and New Jersey native has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and as Argentina found out last summer, when he is at his best he can post a clean sheet against anybody.

Howard will be the newest subject for The SBI Questions, and will be taking questions from SBI readers. Simply post your questions for Howard in the comments section below and we here at SBI will select the best questions and ask them to Howard. Whether you want to ask about his days as a MetroStar, what it's like playing in the best league in the world, or what he thinks the U.S. national team's chances are this summer, send your questions our way and we will look to have Howard's answers next week.

Post your questions in the comments section below.

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106 Responses to The SBI Questions: Ask Tim Howard

  1. TomP says:

    Tim – In playing against and with Clint Dempsey in the EPL and on the USMNT, what do you think is the big difference between Fulham Clint and USA Clint? Does it seem to you that he often influences games in the EPL while disappearing at times for the USMNT? If yes, why?

  2. matt says:

    Do you plan to ever return to new york and play in the mls and i dont mean when your 38-40 i mean maybe 33-35 close to your prime

  3. Wes says:

    Tim,

    You are in a unique position, being able to play with and against the best players in the world and being able to play with the best America has to offer.

    Given the above, I am very interested in your opinion on American players as a whole, what are the biggest deficiencies you see, have we made significant strides in improvement with the current crop and what kind of time frame do you foresee before we are able to consistently produce top tier field players?

  4. Mike says:

    How has your Tourette’s Syndrome affected your career?

  5. Adam says:

    dang it mike took my question! good one!

  6. Ricky Ross says:

    Tim,

    What is the loudest/most intimidating arena you have ever played in? World Cup? Europe?

  7. Steve B says:

    Tim,
    First I want to say as a goalkeeper and USMNT fan you are my biggest hero. Did you ever think TS (turrets) would prevent you from fulfilling your dream as a pro soccer player? What has been you’re greatest accomplishment thus far?

  8. Zoti says:

    What lessons did you take from playing in goal for Man United? How does playing for United compares to playing for Everton?

    Thanks for all you have done for the Metrostars and USMNT over the years.

  9. Mingjai says:

    Tim–

    Two questions: First, while the center of the U.S. defense is likely secure for the next few years, what are your thoughts on the current pool of U.S. defenders? Who do you see stepping up to provide the necessary depth at fullback?

    Second, if you were building a soccer team to compete at the highest level and could choose any goalkeeper, besides yourself, who would you choose as starter? Who would be backup?

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Louis says:

    Tim,

    As someone who has succeeded and thrived in Europe have you experienced any unique challenges or obstacles as a American player? Why do you think so many young American players struggle to make a impact when going abroad?

  11. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Yo, Tim! We are very proud to have a Jersey Boy doing well in the EPL. When you were finishing up high school, did you consider going to college in the USA? Can you tell us a bit about your decision-making process at that time?

  12. CapeCodFutbol says:

    Tim,

    Best moment in the EPL?

    Best moment for the USMNT?

    Congrats on all your success, and all the best in the future… Go Tim!

  13. Matt says:

    Can you shed some light on what it was like being part of the Man United locker room?… What was it like being around the likes of Giggs, Scholes, etc. Who were the leaders, jokers, etc. in the squad?

  14. Matt says:

    What was it like playing for Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game? In your opinion, what are the qualities that make him such a successful manager?

  15. james- San Diego says:

    Being know as a national team that actually plays as a” team,” where and what positions would like to see us improve which will even better improve our “team” effort?

  16. MZ says:

    Considering you’ve played against the best in the world both for club and country, who are the top 5 best players that have given you personally the most difficulty?

    Thanks for all you do for the Nats

    Im on the bandwagon of the blue half of Merseyside!

  17. Wispy says:

    Making your home in Memphis in the off-season, can you shed some light on what, if anything, you think can help build soccer’s popularity in the deep South? Can it ever match the support it has on the coasts and in the Midwest?

  18. BellusLudas says:

    Tim,
    Given that you compete every week in the top league in the world please give your honest evaluation of player development in the US and what steps we need to take to get even better.
    Thanks!

  19. Sam says:

    How did you end up making your summer home in Memphis? I’m from Tennessee, and I’ve wondered about that.

  20. Jason I says:

    Growing up in North Brunswick, and the Central Jersey area, were there any coaches that influenced you, and how did they help your game, and do you think you’d be where you are today with out them?

  21. Dave says:

    Tim you have consistently seen Gooch and Boca in front of you for the last few years, how good is your on the field relationship/communication with them? Also, does anyone in football have been hair than Fellaini?

  22. Gregg says:

    Tim,

    Can you describe what was going on in your head when you heard that Man U was sniffing around for availability, and when they eventually signed you? Must have been an incredible and overwhelming experience, eh?

  23. LI Matt says:

    In an average week, how many times do you mention the 2004 FA Cup final to Tim Cahill?

  24. Andrew says:

    Tim,

    In my eyes you are one of the five best goalkeepers in the world. I think that goalkeeper is the only position we (the U.S.) can say we have a top 5 player at right now. How has the U.S. been able to develop such awesome goalkeepers? How do we get the other positions to get up there?

  25. Fred says:

    having played in mls, how do feel the mls matches up against the epl and other euro leagues? aslo from your interaction with other player how is mls viewed by players in europe. thanks

  26. Colin Ferguson says:

    Tim,

    Does Fellaini have all that hair to make up for the fact that almost the entire rest of the team is rocking the bald look?

  27. pk says:

    1- Who are the top 10 goalies in the world (don’t be shy to include yourself)?

    2- If you can have any two center backs in the world play in front of you, which two would you trust?

    Thanks, Tim.

  28. PCFC says:

    What’s your favorite restaurant abroad?

    Besides soccer, what sport do you find most entertaining in England (non-American)?

  29. Hey Tim,

    Is it harder to play for Everton or for the USMNT? From all perspectives…fans, pressure, players, etc.

    Thanks,
    Micronesia Justin

  30. Mensrea Jim says:

    Tim-

    How long do you think you’ll continue your international career?

    What other leagues would you like to play in?

  31. sean monaghan says:

    Tim,

    This is a random one, but did you ever have a european team you loved watching (or supported) when you were growing up as a kid?

  32. David says:

    Tim,

    What’s your favorite spot to hang out in Memphis during your incredibly short off-season?

  33. Topher says:

    Why did it not work out at Manchester United?

  34. gel65 says:

    tim,have you ever suggested to management that they should bring landon donovan in.hes the type of player that your team could use and if he did come how well do you think donovan could do in the epl?any other americans you might like to see at everton?

  35. Blake says:

    Even though you’re at the highest level, was there ever a player (maybe a childhood idol) who you were starstruck upon meeting?

  36. A. Roach says:

    1. What piece of advice would you give to a youth (high school) goalkeeper?

    2. What piece of advice/suggestion would you give the youth coach?

    Thanks! Good luck with the final EPL stretch.

  37. Andrew says:

    Hi Tim! First of all, your growth over the last year has been outstanding and I place you amongst the top 5 keepers in the world. My question though, is along a different line. Hypothetically speaking, if Bob Bradley were to step down as the head coach of the USMNT tomorrow, who would be on your short list (3) of coaches who can lead the US past the group stages in WC 2010?

    Thanks, and keep up the awesome work!!

  38. mexicanbluefish says:

    Tim,

    Thank you for staying in touch with your biggest fans.

    Who will be the next great American keepers? Or are Keller, Friedel and you it??

  39. Paul says:

    At what point at Man U did you start to think that Fergie should really give you a shot with all of Carroll’s gaffs? Were Arena’s comments to Sir Alex helpful? When did you know it was time to be loaned out?

  40. Brant says:

    This probably a bit silly and/or mundane, but what other sports do you play for fun and did you ever consider taking a shot at the pros in any of them?

    Oh, and what’s on your iPod right now?

  41. SCNewJersey says:

    Timmy,

    COME BACK TO JERSEY!

    (Oh wait, that wasn’t a question…)

  42. nico says:

    Which, non-USA, CONCACAF player have you been most impressed with?

  43. Michael Vann says:

    Tim,

    First, off I just want to thank you for all that you have done on and off the pitch. You are first class individual that is a perfect representative for US Soccer and Everton. With that said, you have been played a part in two big derbies, the Manchester Derby and the Merseyside Derby, how do they compare? What is the typical week like leading up to those matches?

  44. -Vince Ontario, California says:

    Tim,

    How do you feel about many EPL teams setting up academies in the US to further their brand, but more importantly gain access to the American player pool? Do you think this will hurt M.L.S. or help it grow? Thanks.

    -Vince Ontario, California

  45. Ryan says:

    Tim, What is your most memorable game with the USMNT that you played in? And what player do you think has the hardest shot who has shot on you?

  46. Robin in Atlanta says:

    Hi Tim,

    Most european soccer players start playing professionally when they are 18 but American soccer players are 21-23 by the time they get their first professional contract . Do you think American soccer players face an disadvantage because of this reason.

  47. LJ says:

    Tim,

    When playing which ground has intimidated you the most?

  48. Q says:

    Tim,
    You are my favorite keeper in the world and I try to model my style of play after yours!

    1. If you could play Goalie Wars (For non-keepers, it’s the 1 v 1 goalie game where keepers try to score on each other by throwing, kicking or drop-kicking) with any keeper in the world, who would you challenge?

    2. Everton seems pretty set at most positions, and with David Moyes as your manager you can’t go wrong, but are there any Americans that you would like to get a look (as a fan, a Lescott/Gooch middle defense would excite me!)?

    Thanks a lot!
    Q in Virginia

  49. Tim F. says:

    Tim,

    Thanks for your services as part of the USMNT. You do a great job for the national team as well as Everton.

    What changes need to be made to US youth soccer to improve the USMNT.

    Regards,

    Tim

  50. Evan says:

    Hi Tim,

    I know that Everton is a close knit team, so I was wandering which of your team mates are closest to and hang out with away from the pitch?

  51. adam says:

    Do you miss Manchester United?

  52. Tom P says:

    First I just wanted to say that you are a credit to Americans everywhere in the way you handle yourself and as a professional footballer of the highest caliber. You make us U.S. soccer fans very proud.

    1. Would you like to play some day in La Liga or Serie A for both the experience and to prove that Americans and to yourself can succeed at the highest level outside of England?

    2. Without getting into political hot water do you think that the USSF could benefit from bringing some high caliber european coaching for outside analysis at what we are doing both right and wrong in developing our young talent.

    Thank you in advance.

  53. LJ says:

    Hi Tim,

    I know you’re a church-going man, and I was wondering if you go each week in the UK. If so, is it a lot different than going to church in the USA? Do other players go?

    Posted by: Matt | April 10, 2009 at 07:56 PM

    Are you insane,
    1)he is a Pro soccer player
    2)Christianity is not a big deal in Europe

  54. Rekro says:

    Dear Timothy,

    Me and my fellow movie enthusiasts where wondering, what type of cinema you’re into.

    Comedy??? Action??? Chick Flicks Maybe???

    What movies does Tim Howard have next to his DVD player????

  55. Justin says:

    Tim, you have been so successful in your career and have experienced so many things. What are your current goals and what do you think you need to do to get in position to meet those goals? (Everton to champions league, EPL title, US advance at the world cup)?

  56. Mike in Baltimore says:

    Tim:

    Congrats on your successful international and professional career. Quick question- in your opinion, rank the top 5 goalkeeprs the US has produced (#1 being the best) and you can include yourself. And why is #1 the best? Also, why do you choose to wear the non-traditional GK jersey # (#1 is typically the team’s top-choice stopper)?

  57. Tim says:

    First of all, do you have any regrets about your time with Manchester United?

    Secondly, do you plan to stay with Everton for the rest of your career or do you see a move to another European club or MLS in your future?

    Side note: You are a total monster in the net and you are my favorite player to watch in the EPL.

  58. Phil Shore says:

    How emotional was it to make your first start for Man U. (and your first start for someone other then Metro) at Giants Stadium in the friendly against Juventus during Man U.’s summer tour of the states in 2003?

  59. Gabe says:

    Tim,

    Would you rather have to save a screamer from the 18 by Steven Gerrard or Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Just kidding. My question is, of the current US player pool, who would you rather not face in club football and who do you find the most dangerous?

    -Gabe

  60. NickCali says:

    What is your favorite Save of all time?

    Is there added pressure when playing for USA?

    What do you think of the hegemony of the top 4 teams in the English Premier Leauge?

    When will the USA win a world cup?

    What tips have you given Brad Guzan your Understudy for The USA national Team?

  61. 4now. says:

    Hi Tim,

    Can you speak about the role Tim Mulqueen played in your development as a young GK?

    Best,
    4now

  62. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Tim, if it weren’t for soccer, and other than being a great husband and dad, what would you like to do with your time?

  63. Jamie Z. says:

    Hi Tim,

    I know you’re a church-going man, and I was wondering if you go each week in the UK. If so, is it a lot different than going to church in the USA? Do other players go?

    Posted by: Matt | April 10, 2009 at 07:56 PM

    Are you insane,
    1)he is a Pro soccer player
    2)Christianity is not a big deal in Europe

    Posted by: LJ | April 10, 2009 at 08:43 PM

    ___________________________________________

    Yeah, because nobody goes to church in Europe. Way to be a tool, LJ.

  64. simms21 says:

    Tim,

    This might come off a little rude, but if Van Der Sar retired and Man Utd came a knocking would you want to go back?

  65. Carlos Ruiz says:

    Tim,

    Why have you no answer my phone calls? I jus’ want to be friends.

  66. J says:

    Are you still close with any guys from Manchester United, and who are your closest friends at Everton? Can you talk about a lack of willingness to accept you or a lack of respect for you at either club (if it was the case), simply because you were an American?

  67. D says:

    Tim – I’m from East Brunswick and played against you growing up. What would you say are a few of your best youth soccer memories, and did you enjoy playing forward in HS?

  68. DC Josh says:

    Timmaaaay!

    I’m a christian and was wondering what role God has played in your career?

    God bless you! I hope your career continues to be injury free and clean sheet full.

  69. DC Andrea says:

    Tim-

    Two part question- who are the loudest fans you have played in front of and what was that feeling like when Dan Gosling scored in the 118th minute against Liverpool AT Goodison?

  70. Joey says:

    Tim -

    When you joined Man. United did you get along/ hang out with Spector.

  71. Joey says:

    Hi Tim,

    I know you’re a church-going man, and I was wondering if you go each week in the UK. If so, is it a lot different than going to church in the USA? Do other players go?

    Posted by: Matt | April 10, 2009 at 07:56 PM

    Are you insane,

    1)he is a Pro soccer player

    2)Christianity is not a big deal in Europe

    Posted by: LJ | April 10, 2009 at 08:43 PM

    ___________________________________________

    Yeah, because nobody goes to church in Europe. Way to be a tool, LJ.

    Posted by: Jamie Z. | April 10, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Jamie Z, let LJ ask his question.

    WHY ARE YOU MOCKING Him and his question….

    Plenty of people go to church in Europe.

    S

  72. Hugo Scheckter says:

    Tim

    You are my favorite player of all time, and I have followed your career with great interest. My question: is there too much pressure on international goalkeepers these days? It seems that after one or two bad performances they are dropped, when often it is the fault of the defenders – Paul Robinson for England springs to mind… what is your take on this? Should a country establish a #1 keeper like the USA has with you, or chop and change?
    Keep up the good work, and good luck with the rest of the season!

  73. Kent says:

    Tim,

    Who gives a worse “hair-dryer” treatment: Moyes or Fergie?

    Ever been on the receiving end of a particularly memorable one?

    Thanks!

  74. WonsanUnited says:

    Would ever consider playing for the Metrostars/Red Bulls again? Maybe later in your career?

  75. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    What did it feel like stuffing Argentina?

  76. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    Do you have any comments on the incident between you and Marquez during the USMNT v Mexico match? Was it as dirty as it looked? And was that yellow card you received as ridiculous as it looked to us?

  77. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    What is your most emotional victory? Mexico?

  78. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    Who should start on the left wing: Donovan, Dempsey, Beasley, or Torres?

  79. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    Who should start at left back: Pearce, Spector, Bornstein, or Beasley?

  80. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    Why are you such a beast in the goal?

  81. ThaDeuce says:

    Tim,
    which offensive player do you most (or least) look forward to playing against in the near future?

    Thanks,
    I’m a big fan.

  82. Dominghosa says:

    EVERTON!

  83. Dominghosa says:

    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if Everton’s best attackers (Arteta, Yakubu, Cahill, etc.) could just stay healthy?

  84. Joey L. says:

    Tim “freaking” Howard! Are you serious… he’s probably the best American player out there today! I don’t even know what to ask. Good job though.

  85. Leonardo says:

    Tim,

    You are friggin’ awesome. will you grab a beer with me and the SBI guys next time ur in Cali? really? suh-weet!

    hey-Duck’s payin’!

  86. Scott A says:

    Timmy! I read that you were a midfielder in high school. How often have you seen other top-level goalkeepers play in outfield positions in practice, and are most pretty competent or can it be pretty ugly?

  87. john.q says:

    Hey Tim,

    Do you know what that dial tone sound is on Fox Soccer Channel?

    Just Kidding! here’s the real question:
    What are you favorite sports teams outside of soccer? In (American) Football? Baseball? Basketball?

  88. Isaac says:

    Who is your idol, as far as goalkeepers around the world go?

  89. Matt says:

    If you could have any car in the world, which one would it be?
    Matt, In Wisconsin

  90. Paul says:

    Tim – North Jersey girls or South Jersey girls?

  91. lcphil says:

    Joey, LJ was mocking someone else’s question about Tim’s church attendance. Careful when criticizing to make sure you know what is in reference to…

  92. Geoff S. says:

    Hey Tim,

    (Speculation Time) Who will step in to coah the US MNT after Bob Bradley?

  93. Geoff S. says:

    Hey Tim I just thought of another one,

    If you had the chance to re-take that PK against Dida when Man U played AC Milan at Giants Stadium, would you do anything differently? Was Jonathan Spector too Nervous to take it?

  94. As I recall you played for a year in the USL PDL divsion with New Jersey. Would you recommend that same route for players interested in a pro career? In your retirement years, do you think that you’d be interested in taking an ownership stake in a USL/NPSL minor-league team or with a MLS team?

  95. NJsoccer says:

    Tim,
    first off I just want to say that you’ve made our country and especially Jersey really proud! Keep up the great work! OK here’s my question: I’ve read that you played more than one sport in your youth and I was wondering if you think that it is better for kids to drop all other sports and just focus on soccer altogether or to continue playing other sports (not just soccer) for versatility.
    Thank you! I’m a big fan!

  96. Dirk says:

    Hello Tim,

    I think your leadership as goalie has really been a big reason for recent USMNT success. Thank you for that and Keep up the good work!

    What is your feeling on intergrating young players into the USMNT, and the importance of having those young players during the World Cup? What are your thoughts/feelings around having a big name coach for the USMNT? Can the USMNT go far without that type of coach?

  97. Danny says:

    @LJ – You’re an asshole and obviously a bigot.

  98. wally says:

    Timmy – Who are the best set piece takers you’ve defended against?

  99. Brian Campbell says:

    With the big 4 seeming to have a lock on the Champions League spots, would you consider leaving Everton for the opportunity of playing in the Champions League?

  100. Kyle says:

    How has being a christian in a much more secular country affected your families lifestyle?

  101. Eric Griesheimer says:

    Tim

    I was just at the US v Trinidad game in Nashville. Great Game! How encouraging is it to see the US support grow year after year? I am originally from Columbus Ohio and cant wait to see you guys play their someday.

  102. Wes says:

    Tim,

    Being from Jersey, I can’t imagine what it felt like for you to shutdown Argentina at Giants Stadium. I was at the game and brought a few nonsoccer fans to the match, and you basically made them fans that night. So thank you. My question for you is, what national team would you like to face that you haven’t played against yet?

  103. ryan says:

    When is the last time you saved a PK?

  104. Buzz says:

    Tim,

    Ives recently did his SBI Questions segment on fellow goalkeeper, Joe Cannon, which always reveals insight into the world of goalkeeping. However, we never hear much from other goalkeepers, like yourself, about his scenario with the National team. Seems like he has never been given a fair shake under Bradley. Can you give us your thoughts about why we haven’t seen more of him? Politics involved or what?

  105. Paul Chaisson says:

    This might be a very odd question, but as someone who plays goalie now coming from a non-soccer background, have you ever tried using football/receiver’s gloves? If high-end goalie gloves have begun incorporating the same technology and I just haven’t seen them, ignore this, but otherwise I don’t understand why a goalie would choose material that is basically padding over material the ball effectively sticks to.

    Basically, do you use/have you experimented with different materials, and if so, is there a reason for traditional goalie gloves, or is it just inertia that keeps people wearing them? (I know I get double-takes and comments all the time from people.)

  106. Ryan says:

    Hi Tim,

    As a senior MNT player, are you able to keep “tabs” on some of the younger, up-and-coming US players? At what point does a U-17 (or earlier) player gain the attention of the senior player?