Because 5.5 is half of 11, which is soccer’s round number.
1. Killa Cam: To say Geoff Cameron is the truth might be doing credit to lies. The Potter owned the penalty area in last’s night win and simply played at a level that leads one to think we’ve found the heart of our defense for the next 4-5 years. That might sound as if it’s getting carried away with one performance, but if you’ve been watching the guy progress over the last few seasons, then you’d agree that all that was required to lift him to stardom was a breakout performance like this in a big international match. Last night was it. With Cam’s emergence, Bradley starting to really look the part in Rome and Altidore throwing braces at Ajax in Holland, our spine is suddenly starting to look sturdy, if not youthful. It’s the morning after and Cameron’s arrival almost leaves me giddier than the actual win itself.
2. It’s Timmy: As well as Cameron played, he arguably wasn’t even the man of the match for the US. That honor should probably go to sticksman Tim Howard, who gave a career performance in net last night. It wasn’t just his composure or his confidence — both of which were there in vast quanitites — but the guy honestly moved like he was 23, not 33. Even cooler was to see how much the win meant to him afterwards. He’ll probably still be smiling like that until he has to put his game face back on for Monday’s Toffees season-opener against Man U.
American goalkeeper understands how much is on the line for Everton when they take the pitch at Wembley for their 2012 FA Cup semifinal against local rivals Liverpool (7:30 a.m. ET, Fox Soccer), but he thinks he and his fellow Toffees will be well suited for the occasion, if only because they played in a Wembley final in the FA Cup against Chelsea just three years ago.
Speaking to the Daily Post, Howard likes his side’s chances, if only because they’re familiar with the sights, sounds, and scents of Wembley.
“It is important to have the experience (from 2009) because what people from the outside under-estimate is having the experience of what things smell and look like.
“When you walk out at Wembley for the first time it is daunting but having been there before and not having to marvel at the size of it and the enormity of the game helps, and that comes from experience of 2009.
“I have played in a lot of big games, both teams have players who have played in big games, so you know how to manage it psychologically.”
You’re normally in good hands with Tim Howard in net. Saturday was not a normal day for the Everton keeper. Let’s just hope he can keep his All State endorsement deal after this one.
Tim Howard is big in Taiwan. I presume this makes him the first US men’s national team player to get the Taiwanese animation treatment? Howard joins an illustrious list of American celebrities to receive such an honor, including Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, and Brett Favre. Congrats Tim.
Tim Howard didn’t celebrate his full field goal yesterday and expressed deep sympathy for Bolton’s keeper after the match saying, “It’s not a nice place to be. I’ve been there before, a long, long time ago and that was why I didn’t celebrate.”
That time a long, long time ago was six years ago with the Manchester United reserves. The Daily Mail dug up the YouTube clip. Ouch.
Here are your completely legal highlights of Everton vs. Bolton, in case you were stuck at work away from a properly connected TV or screen this afternoon. The folks at Fox didn’t think the supposed Landon Donovan non-penalty call was highlight-able, so you won’t see if here. If you do find it, let me know — video evidence wanted.
Two-hundred-and-ninety-one matches. That’s how long goalkeeper Tim Howard has been playing for Everton before scoring a goal for the Toffees.
That changed on Wednesday night in Everton’s 2-1 loss to visiting Bolton Wanderers; on the same night as the loan debut of fellow American international Landon Donovan, no less.
Howard’s goal came in the 63rd minute when he floated a very long clearance that bounced once over the head of Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in the windy confines of Goodsion Park — according to the match announcers carried on the FOXSoccer.tv stream, the stands at Goodison Park were literally shaking due to the high winds at the stadium.
Tim Howard is now the hairiest member of the US goalkeeping corps. The Yanks #1 showed off his new beard on Saturday against Arsenal, making him more hirsute than the other hairless USA GKs. Your move Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid and yeah, you too Brad Friedel. Grow a pair — of muttonchops or some other cool facial hair arrangement, please.
Robin Van Persie, a man in spectacular form, dropped jaws with this second half stunner against Tim Howard and Everton Saturday. It was all Arsenal would need in a 1-0 win.
Van Persie’s former teammate Thierry Henry, a guest of honor for the club’s 125th anniversary, looked on with admiration of the spectacular strike from the stands. Ho-hum RVP, you’ll need about a 100 more of those to get your own statue.
Follow @TheDenimKit on Twitter
In addition to dealing with the onslaught from Les Bleus, Tim Howard (and some other players) had to contend with the occasional laser in the eye, courtesy of the crowd at the Stade de France Friday night. I guess the French aren’t as sophisticated as you’d think.
America’s #1 GK isn’t the first player to get the laser in the face treatment, of course. Unruly fans love to stick their laser points all up in the business of the world’s best. Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo get regular laser facials.
Howard, always a pro, didn’t let the green-sheen get him off his game. Ronaldo, on the other hand, wasn’t as gentlemanly in his reaction to a recent “lasering.”
Follow @TheDenimKit on Twitter
The morning after another 1-0 US loss – this time to France at the Stade de France — here are 7 things to think about.
1. Jo-Z Is A Baller — Let’s start with the brightest spot. Jozy Altidore was one of the few players to look sharp and dangerous. The 22-year-old is developing into a formidable target man, with a good motor and a bag of tricks. As we’ve said in this space before: he’s still young; he’s got the tools; give him time. Sure, he still didn’t score a goal (although he’s doing it regularly for his Dutch club AZ) but it’s hard to hate on him after Friday’s performance. But if you insist, feel free to drop your venom in the comments.
Courtesy of US Soccer’s cameras, here’s a look at Wednesday’s national team training session in Versailles, France. The boys put in some possession work and then a little modified scrimmage, where Tim Howard stops a Jermaine Jones free-kick, or does he?
Follow @TheDenimKit on Twitter
The future of the US men’s national team is the subject of endless debate. Can Jurgen Klinsmann make the US an elite soccer power? Will we ever win a World Cup? The answers to those questions are uncertain, but one thing we can be certain of is that all players will age — and get slower past a certain age. That’s not a knock on the US’s aging back line; it’s just a fact of life. We are all getting older — often fatter, grayer.
Former Denim Kit-er Alexi Lalas tweeted recently, “What I could have looked like as a old man,” with a link to a picture. I clicked through expecting a cautionary tale photo of what the road-weary rock n’ roll life can do to the human body. I was disappointed; it was just a Halloween mask.
My disappointment soon gave way to curiosity. What would Lalas look like as an old man? Heck, what would other American soccer heroes look like. Well, thanks to modern technology, we don’t have to wait for nature to take its course. There’s an app for that (see above).
Here’s a look at what some US internationals, past and present, might look like in the distant future, with a little help from an app called Aging Booth.
A tough day for Tim Howard and the blue side of Liverpool. Howard’s teammate Johnny Heitinga poked in an own goal past him and then Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor dropped this bomb on America’s #1 GK. Those two tallies were enough to keep Newcastle undefeated on the season and keep Everton in the northern suburbs of the drop zone city. Final Score: Newcastle 2, Everton 1.
So easy to forget that the American Toffees sticksman spent time playing with Roy Keane. Was evidently some QT as well, as Tim Howard would make Keano one of three guests (“in case things got out of hand”) at his dream dinner party. Find out who the other two are, and much, much more by watching the vid above.
Just Chicharito being Chicharito. Scoring from inside the 6-yard box, making it look easy. There was little Tim Howard could do to stop the Mexican’s point-blank shot, which proved the game-winner. Howard and Everton gave Manchester United all they could handle, nearly grabbing a point from the champions, but couldn’t find an equalizer. Manchester United 1, Everton 0.
Two of America’s top stars, Clint Dempsey of Fulham and Tim Howard of Everton, went toe-to-toe in an EPL match at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Here are Five Things about Sunday’s US showdown that saw the Toffees top the home Whites, 3-1.
1. On the day, both Dempsey and Howard represented club and country quite well. Dempsey was involved in much of the Fulham attack on the day, challenging Howard directly on more than one occasion and notching the assist on Fulham’s lone goal — a beautiful chip from Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz. Howard, meanwhile, put in a fine performance for Everton, only getting beat on a goal that was perfectly placed and, for all intents and purposes, unstoppable. Both players also deserve credit for not letting their friendship get in the way of competition — as seen in the photo above, Dempsey and Howard collided on a first-half breakaway when both players went hard after a 50-50 ball, and came close to what could have been a dangerous collision.