Memphis 901 sporting director and part owner Tim Howard has lured U.S. men's national team great Tim Howard out of retirement to play for the USL Championship side.
Yes, that is accurate. Tim Howard, who retired in October after a stint in MLS with the Colorado Rapids, has returned to active duty as part of the club he co-owns and for which he is the sporting director. Memphis 901's season begins on Saturday, and Howard will have more than just a seat in the front office for it.
“Since my retirement in October, my obsession for football has grown," Howard said in a statement. "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.”
There is the potential for a clear conflict of interest with Howard essentially reporting to himself now on two levels, but that's of no concern to the club.
“When he’s in the locker room as a player, he will act as a player," Memphis 901 coach Tim Mulqueen said. "His focus is only going to be on winning. There will be very clear lines that the players will recognize."
Added principal owner Peter 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.”
Howard had seemingly capped a storied playing career after spending over three seasons in Colorado following a lengthy run with Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League. He had 121 caps with the U.S. men's national team and was part of three World Cup teams and is probably most famous for his record-setting performance in the last-16 loss to Belgium in 2014, when he recorded 15 saves.