Five months after a heroic World Cup performance, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has been named the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career.
The 35-year-old, who also won the award in 2008, received 64% of the vote, easily beating out midfielders Jermaine Jones [19%] and Kyle Beckerman [11%], with Alejandro Bedoya, Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson the other names up for the prize.
The three-time World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win the award on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa [1992, 1994], fellow keeper Kasey Keller [1997, 1999 and 2005], forward Landon Donovan [2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010] and current captain Dempsey [2007, 2011 and 2012].
“It’s an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it’s special to have my name up there,” he said on SportsCenter. “The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me.”
Howard's standout moment of 2014 came in the World Cup last-16 match against Belgium, when the 104-times capped shot-stopper made a tournament-record 15 saves during the US' 2-1 extra-time loss.
The Toffees stalwart announced in August that he would be taking a break from international football, but plans to return in September 2015, with his eyes still set on making Russia 2018 as the team's number one.
In the meantime, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been rotating between Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando and Bill Hamid in goal before deciding on his stand-in first-choice, with the Aston Villa star widely considered the favourite to land the job.