Howard had faith he’d be healthy for U.S.
san jose, calif.» As his U.S. teammates trained under cloudy skies on a brisk Bay Area morning, Tim Howard sat on the sideline and stretched his shoulders. He balanced on his left leg and warmed up his hips.
This is the new normal for the Rapids goalie, fresh off his 38th birthday and a November surgery on his right thigh to repair the adductor muscle.
“I’m old,” chuckled Howard, the Americans’ top goalkeeper the past two World Cups. “That’s every day for me now, between now and the next three years that’s what every day looks like. It’s a process, but hopefully it’ll pay off.”
Howard is expected to start for coach Bruce Arena in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras at Avaya Stadium, home of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes, before the Americans play at Panama four days later.
“It’s good to have him back,” said defender DaMarcus Beasley. “He’s been a big part of this team for a long time now. Big games, World Cups, qualifiers. To have him back with the team and the group is a big plus for us and for everybody to see him back, especially after the injury he had at the end of last season.”
Howard is confident kicking with his right foot again but he noted, “Thankfully I have half a decent left foot” when he needs to use it.
The U.S. is 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying for the first time, and Arena returned to coach the team 10 years after his firing when he was hired in November to replace Jurgen Klinsmann. That month, the Americans lost to Mexico 2-1 at home and 4-0 at Costa Rica.
• United States forward Bobby Wood withdrew from World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama due to back problems.
FIFA banned for life the referee who awarded a disputed penalty for South Africa against Senegal in a World Cup qualifying match. Referee Joseph Lamptey of Ghana gave a penalty for a non-existent handball against Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Replays clearly showed the ball struck Koulibaly’s knee and then dropped to the ground.
Ralphie IV led the CU football team to a 62-36 crushing of Nebraska at Folsom Field in November 2001. Getty Images file
Tim Howard is expected to start in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras.