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U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard signs Everton extension to 2018

Tim Howard U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard has pledged his future to Everton, signing an extension through 2018. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Howard has helped Everton stay in the thick of the Champions League hunt, and he will be trying to do so for the next four years, as well.

Everton announced that the club has signed Howard to an extension through 2018, keeping him on Merseyside through the next World Cup cycle. Howard, 35, had signed an extension with Everton two years ago that lasted through 2016.

“It is fantastic news,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez told the club's official web channel. “To have Tim Howard performing as he has been this season, I cannot see past him to choose the best goalkeeper in the league.

“For him, in such an important year with the World Cup around the corner, to commit his future for the long term is an incredible moment for the dressing room.”

Howard joined Everton from Manchester United on loan in 2006 and made the move permanent in 2007, becoming a fixture in the club since then. He has 12 clean sheets in league play this season, four shy of his club record of 16, which he set in 2008-2009.

Everton currently sits in fifth place in the Premier League, one point behind Arsenal in the all-important fourth position, after dropping a 3-2 result at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. The Toffees host Manchester United and former manager David Moyes on Sunday, looking to get back into the Champions League places.

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