What is Tim Howard’s future with USL Memphis?

There is some mystery as to Howard’s role with Memphis moving forward.

On the day of the announcement of USL Memphis first head coach, questions are still floating around about a certain bearded “advisor” for the USL expansion team. Tim Howard, former US Men’s National Team goalkeeper and current Colorado Rapids goalkeeper, has been heavily involved with his hometown’s professional soccer team. Following the twitter account for USL Memphis, you are flooded with images and social media hype centered around the US Men’s National Team Secretary of Defense.

While Tim Howard is a New Jersey native, he currently resides around the Memphis area where the connection can be made towards his work with the USL expansion side. He was in attendance when the club announced it’s branding and quickly attached himself to the organization

“I told these guys, ‘use me in any way, shape or form,’” Howard said following Monday’s announcement. “‘Put me on conference calls, ask questions,’ and we’ve done that, to be honest, for the last two months. We’ve spit-balled a lot of things, brainstormed, for me it’s been exciting. This [game] runs in my blood and these guys are excited and passionate about it.”

Nicholas Murray (USL Soccer Dot Com)

It would seem on the surface that Howard’s role with the USL team is whatever Tim Howard wants it to be. He has been involved in many different avenues and provided insight, thoughts, ideas, and most notably, name recognition towards the expansion in Tennessee.

Stranger Things: Memphis

It’s not unheard of for a professional soccer player in the United States to have his or her hands in other projects. Steven Gerrard was involved in Champions League coverage abroad. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also has done things with the World Cup. Most of the players who are involved in non-soccer related projects lean more on the media side. It’s strange, however, to see an active MLS player be working so aggressively on the birth of another team. Howard is also signed on to be an analysis with Bleacher Report for this season’s Champions League coverage.

The strangeness behind Tim Howard’s work with USL Memphis isn’t strange because he’s involved, but rather it’s strange to see an active MLS player support and work on a project of another soccer team in another league in another state. If USL were launching a team in Colorado, it at least makes a little more sense regardless of whether or not that team would be owned by the Colorado Rapids.

According to the same story from Murray on USLSoccer.com, Howard seemingly isn’t planning on retiring from playing anytime soon. Whether that be for the Rapids or whomever, the 39-year-old USMNT pillar won’t be leaving the nets at least next year. That being said, it’s a little confusing to track Tim Howard on the field versus Tim Howard off the field.

What is Tim Howard’s Future?

We reached out to USL Memphis on a comment about what Tim Howard’s future could be with the USL Team once they play their first game in 2019 and *a representative has said that Tim Howard is an advisor* . Whatever the response may be, you have to consider that USL Memphis might make a play on Howard, despite his deal not being up in Colorado until 2019. They could kick the tires and see if Howard wants to be a player/coach for Memphis.

I’m not a huge fan of ‘ticket selling’ signings, which teams seem to do to generate a quick profit but often are more about the media attention than the on-field product. That being said, Howard is going to bring you a lot of positive attention. Colorado Rapids are already playing a friendly against Tulsa Rednecks inside Autozone Park. You have allowed him to appear on your social media accounts and other public relations motions.

If Howard does still want to play, it would make sense and with the current trend of player/managers in USL, you wouldn’t be rewriting the book on something that is becoming more common.

 

Photo courtesy of Troy Glasgow/USL Memphis

Author

Brian Cook

Brian has followed Indy Eleven as a supporter since their birth and began covering the team in a number of capacities in 2015. He can be reached at brianfrederickcook@gmail.com or @SoccerwithBrian on Twitter.