Colorado Rapids and former U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Tim Howard will retire at the end of the 2019 MLS season, he announced Tuesday.
"I’m greatly looking forward to kicking off the 2019 MLS season, as it will be my LAST," Howard wrote on Twitter. "There will be plenty of time for sentiment later. For now, I am going to enjoy every minute. And as I’ve always done, compete hard and help lead the Rapids with the sole purpose of winning."
Howard, 39, served as the starting goalkeeper for the USA in each of its past three FIFA World Cup appearances (2006, 2010, and 2014). He currently ranks first in USMNT history among goalkeepers in wins (62) and appearances (121). His most memorable performance in a U.S. shirt came in defeat, when he set a World Cup record with 15 saves in a round-of-16 defeat to Belgium in 2014.
Howard debuted professionally with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the MLS in 1998. He later joined the Premier League's Manchester United in 2003, then moved in 2006 to Everton, where he became one of the world's preeminent backstops. He spent nearly a decade at Goodison Park before returning to MLS and joining the Rapids in 2016.
Howard is a two-time Concacaf Gold Cup winner and has been named Concacaf Goalkeeper of the Year three times. What he does after his playing days remains to be seen, but he does already have a hand in a pair of clubs as part of the ownership group for non-league English club Dagenham & Redbridge and as an advisor for new USL club Memphis 901 FC.
Howard's Rapids begin the 2019 MLS season at home against the Portland Timbers on March 2.