Tim Howard became a hero this summer after his amazing efforts for the US men's national team during the World Cup in Brazil, but now USA fans have been left devastated by the Everton goalkeeper's latest decision.
That's because the impressive shot stopper has decided step away from the international game. But the reality is not all doom and gloom after Howard announced his decision to only take a years break and not full retirement from the international game.
The 35-year-old has played every single minute of USA's last two World Cup campaigns, and he says it's time for him to make a decision that benefits both his family and the longevity of his own career.
"Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time,” Howard told US Soccer. “I am grateful for the willingness of both Jurgen Klinsmann and Everton manager Roberto Martinez to afford me the opportunity to spend time with my kids."
Howard admits the decision has come at the right time at the start of a new EPL season for the goalkeeper with his British club Everton.
His side have started not only a long EPL season, but also a tiresome Europa League journey as well.
The right time
Howard admits the decision is risky - when you consider Jurgen Klinsmann's approach of making sure all players earn their spots - but he reveals that he's looking forward to coming back into the US setup next fall and challenging for the number one spot again.
"It’s the right decision at the right time," Howard continued. "Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with, so I look forward to coming back next fall and competing for a spot."
Fighting back next fall
It's very likely that when Tim Howard comes back into the setup next fall he will simply regain his spot. This is because Howard's decision to take a break has not been an impulsive one, rather, he and USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann discussed the decision at length before Howard made it.
“We had a very good and productive conversation,” said USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I totally understand Tim’s situation. He was very straight forward and honest in his approach, and I admire him for that.
"I told him as long as he is the same Tim Howard that we always see performing well, he will be welcomed back with open arms and right back competing for a spot."