European Soccer

FA Cup star Tim Howard checks in from England

Tim Howard 2 (AP) 

You couldn't blame Tim Howard if he wanted to take some time to enjoy Everton's dramatic FA Cup semifinal victory vs. Manchester United on Sunday, but life in the EPL doesn't leave much time for basking in the glow of victories.

Howard is still in London as he and Everton prepare to face Chelsea in a league match on Wednesday. The U.S. national team goalkeeper took time out from his hectic schedule to answer the SBI Questions (He actually answered a record number of questions, answers that will be coming soon) as well as to discuss Sunday's thrilling victory.

"I can't even remember the last game that felt that good," Howard said of the FA Cup semifinal victory. "It's probably the most joy I've felt after a victory in a long, long time.

"The drama of the game, and being able to accomplish this with a group of guys I consider genuine friends, made it special."

Howard acknowledged that beating his former team made the victory sweeter, but insisted that there were no ill feelings toward his old club.

"I don't have any hard feelings, if anything it's the opposite, but the way the game played out made it special," Howard said. "We have a couple of ex-United players on the team, the game was very close and it came down to penalties, so it wound up meaning more than probably I thought it would."

The victory means Howard will take part in his third FA Cup final. He helped Manchester United win in 2004. Howard admitted that this trip has a more special feeling to it.

"I didn't take it for granted when I made it with United twice, but when you get something so quickly it's hard to gain a true appreciation for it," Howard said. "You almost think it's your divine right to get there. I think I realize now how much more difficult it is, so I'm able to appreciate it a lot more this time around."

Howard also addressed the questions about the Wembley Stadium turf, which Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger criticized after their teams lost in both FA Cup semifinals.

"I don't think it was that bad," Howard said of the field. "The crazy thing is we play in England. We play 38 games in England and I can tell you we probably play in 28 games where the field is worse than that."

  • DC Josh

    They are calling it the 876 Million pound turf today. But they always find an excuse as to why Man United lose, just like Sir Alex crying about the penalty that wasn’t given. They did have 120 minutes to score one goal.

    But nothing can take away the two saves Howard made in the PK rounds. I will have the surround sound pumped to the max on May 30th when he meets Chelsea at Wembley.


  • Murphy

    Tim Howard is the man. No worries in goal for the U.S. team for a while with this guy in there.


  • Allegre

    Quote of the week …. We play 38 games in England and I can tell you we probably play in 28 games where the field worse than that.

    Well put Tim. You’re the man!


  • Homey Boehme

    Ives, just have to say that I agree with DC Josh. Maybe this type of thing has always been here and I just haven’t been paying attention, but there certainly seems to be more of it appearing on your site this year. Thank you, I am really enjoying it.


  • inkedAG

    I swear, I cannot tell who is dumber, Fire fans or DC fans!

    I’ll try to dumb it down for you fools…

    Ives is based in NJ and wrote for many years covering the NY/NJ team. Since he lives in NJ, he has contacts and access to cover the games and players of RBNY. A good number of his readers also happen to be from that area.

    Since SBI has National and International exposure, he has covered A LOT of ground catering to all aspects of soccer. I would say that this site is no more or less centric to RBNY than it is to National and International news. I’d say he and his correspondents cater to all its fan base quite well.

    Honestly, does anyone give Steve Goff crap for writing about that piece of (crap) farm club in District of Columbia? Chicago is a good club, it’s just their fans are (jerks).

    Basically, if there’s an article you don’t want to read, don’t read it.


  • madmax

    If only Villarreal and Rossi could have advanced and taken United down also. SAF would have blamed the bright yellow kits.


  • mexicanbluefish

    With Timmy behind us, the US team is SO MUCH better, more confident, freer to attack. And we´ll probably see him for many years to come


  • TimF

    Give me a break. He saved one terrible penalty and one averagely bad penalty. Hero, that me laugh. Congrats to Tim and Everton and the ref. They beat a bunch of Man Utd backups/kids without scoring. Good job, lol.


  • krolpolski

    Foster is not an EPL-level goalkeeper. He’s made horrid decisions.

    That being said, a United reserve team held a full-strength starting Everton side to a scoreless draw.

    Berbatov should be sent packing by SAF in the next transfer window. He has done nothing for the team recently. And his PK was ridiculous.


  • Scott A

    Yeah, TimF, saving two penalty kicks out of five in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United is really not noteworthy. And you say that Timmy’s hot a hero because Everton beat ManU without scoring? You do realize he’s the goalkeeper, right, and that’s a pretty good reflection on him? Shmuck


  • Scott A

    P.S. TimF, you were the first person to say the word hero. Way to put words into somebody else’s mouth and then knock it


  • Sir Alex Ferguson


    I couldn’t agree with you more. If “that Everton keeper” didn’t get lucky, and we were able to play on a halfway decent pitch, things would have turned out much different.

    The only thing i enjoy more then complaining, is when our fans do it…. Thanks TimF.


  • BlueWhiteLion

    I like the word Schmuck. Very appropriate here.

    I will still throw him a bone that Berbatov had a lazy shot, and stopping it is not world class. Still a goalie jumps the wrong way and it goes in.

    It was still stopped. AND ManU didn’t score in 120 minutes. I can’t stand them anymore.


  • This Guy

    Great content Ives.

    Tim Howard is as World Class as a keeper could get. He would start no question for England. That’s a proud thing for any USMNT supporter to say.

    Fire supporters are alright. We are just feelin’ down because we have a squad that should be dominating right now but a coach that can’t. We still haven’t lost yet though.


  • Homey

    Yes, Man Utd rested a few players. But the lineup they had still should have beated Everton. They still started Vidic, Ferdinand, Tevez, and Anderson. Then they brought on Evra, Scholes, and Berbatov. Plus their “backups” are regarded more highly than most of the Everton starters. Or at least paid more, I’m sure. So I can’t take too much away from Everton’s accomplishment. Hopefully they’ll get one more win.


  • DC Josh

    Nothing can be taken away from Everton’s win. A win is a win.

    SAF gambled with his youngsters in Wenger-style and they outplayed Everton, but couldn’t find a way to score.


  • Tim

    Full strenth Everton squard? Yeah except for Arteta and Yakubu, you know, their two most expensive players.


  • Dominghosa

    TIMMAY! Anyone who thinks Everton is playing at full-strength knows nothing about the team.
    Everton is also missing more than Arteta and Yak. But could only imagine what this season would be like with those two in the fold of what is turning out to be a pretty magical season, considering the circumstances.


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