Star goalkeeper Tim Howard is taking a one-year break from U.S. national team duties.
The three-time World Cup veteran has asked U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann not to consider him for selection to the roster until September 2015. Howard is not retiring from international play, however; the decision is driven mainly by his desire to spend more time with his family.
Howard, 35, will continue playing for Everton in the English Premier League.
Klinsmann and Howard had extensive conversations about Howard taking a break.
Why are people surprised Tim Howard is talking time away from soccer? The USA men's team allowed like 90 shots on goal, dude is tired.— Montel H. (@MH_On_Sports) August 21, 2014
Howard starred in this year's World Cup in Brazil, particularly in a second-round 2-1 loss to Belgium in which he made 15 saves.
His backup on the national team is Brad Guzan, who also plays in the EPL for Aston Villa. Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando was the third keeper at the World Cup.
When Landon Donovan decided to take some time off from the U.S. men's national team, the striker was heavily criticized and eventually left off the World Cup squad.
Kinda sounds like Tim Howard is pulling a Landon Donovan— Patrick Smith (@patchsmith21) August 21, 2014
Given Howard's legendary play in Brazil, and the fact he's 35, it's unlikely he'll face the same backlash.
When will the cascade of criticism come for Tim Howard's decision to abandon the USMNT? Oh, it won't come at all?— Steve Abreu (@zipsix) August 21, 2014