Photo by ISIphotos.com
Time does fly. With soccer a year-round endeavor it is easy to let the years slip by and not even realize how much time has passed since some memorable moments that don’t really seem that far away.
Leave it to Red Bulls guru Dan Ryazansky, operator of MetroFanatic, to remind us when memorable dates go by. He reminded us that
today marks Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of Tim Howard’s last match with the MetroStars. The match itself, a 3-3 tie against New England that saw the Metros come back from a 3-0 deficit, was memorable enough. That it was the last match of Howard’s stellar MetroStars career made it special.
I had the chance to talk to Howard before the USA-Argentina match last month and the subject of his departure came up when we started talking about Jozy Altidore’s transfer. "I can’t believe it’s been five years," Howard said that day. He also revealed a very interesting nugget. The fact that he didn’t have to play in the game.
With Howard’s transfer to Manchester United a done deal, Howard could have just packed up and ended his MetroStars career a game early. He refused to do that, choosing instead to play and give fans one more chance to see him play.
"Maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t imagine not playing," Howard said.
MetroStars fans never saw him in a Metros uniform again, but they did get to see him again that same summer, when he returned with Manchester United for a friendly against Juventus. It was another unforgettable moment, seeing a packed Giants Stadium applaud Howard. Moments like those are why Howard, upon being told that the Argentina match might be his last at Giants Stadium (and what a match that was for him), insisted that he would find a way to get a piece of the stadium before it’s torn down. He certainly deserves one.
Yes folks, that was five years ago. The summer of 2003. Time does fly.