The US international spent six seasons with the MetroStars at the start of his career before moving to Manchester United in 2003.
According to ESPN FC, the Colorado Rapids are pursuing a deal for the Everton goalkeeper after acquiring the league’s top allocation spot in a trade with the Chicago Fire during Thursday’s SuperDraft – giving them first priority to sign any player listed on the Allocation Ranking List.
The club were originally eyeing fellow US national team standout Alejandro Bedoya, but after being told that the Nantes midfielder would not be sold this winter, are now believed to have turned their attentions to Howard.
"We tried to make it happen but Nantes is not selling,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told Goal USA on Thursday of the team’s interest in Bedoya. "We still feel securing the top spot in the Player Allocation Order is a very significant step for our organization."
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Howard, 36, has made over 400 total appearances for Everton since joining the club from Manchester United in 2006 on an initial loan deal which later became permanent, but his form over the past 18 months has come in for considerable criticism from both Blues fans and the media.
The former MetroStars keeper, who has earned 106 USA caps since his international debut in 2002, has reiterated on several occasions that he plans to remain at Goodison Park until his current contract expires in 2018, but Toffees boss Roberto Martinez admitted this week that it was “impossible to say” whether his No. 1 would still be at the club next season.
“It is impossible to say that,” Martinez said at his pre-match press conference before Howard's impressive display in Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw at Manchester City. “We need to take it game by game and week by week.
"I want Tim to feel stronger in every game. Watching him in training, I don't see a sign of weakness or him being worn down or tired. It is the opposite. "He is up for the challenge, up for helping the team and keeping up standards. I'm sure every experience will affect what you want to do in the summer.”