Tim Howard to leave Everton for Colorado Rapids in summer move

The US international is set to join the MLS club at the end of the Premier League campaign.

After spending 13 seasons in England, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is set to head back to the States this summer.

The US international, who turned 37 earlier this month, will leave Goodison Park at the end of the 2015-16 Premier League season to join the Colorado Rapids as a Designated Player and will be eligible to feature for the club from 4 July when the MLS summer transfer window opens.

Speaking to the Rapids’ official website, club technical director and vice-president of soccer operations Paul Bravo said: “Tim is exceptional, both as a player and a person. He proved it at the last World Cup for the U.S National Team and he has been proving it for the last decade in the English Premier League.

“He has experience at the very pinnacle of the sport but we feel he has much still to offer on the pitch. We believe this is a pivotal signing for the Colorado Rapids.”

Team president Tim Hinchey added: “Tim is one of the greatest players this country has ever produced and we are delighted that he chose the Colorado Rapids when he decided to rejoin MLS

“We believe he can be an ambassador not only for our club but for the sport of soccer in the U.S. We are truly excited that Tim is a part of our future and on behalf of everyone associated with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, welcome him to our club.”

Howard’s impending move to the Rapids brings him back to the league where he first began his professional career in 1998 with the Metrostars, for whom his impressive performances helped him secure a £2.3 million switch to Manchester United in 2003.

The 106-times capped American failed to keep hold of United’s No. 1 job following his debut season at Old Trafford, however, and he went on to join Everton in 2006 on an initial loan deal which later became permanent.

He has since made over 400 total appearances for the Toffees, but his form over the past 18 months has come in for considerable criticism from both fans and the media, leading to him losing his starting spot to Joel Robles last month.

Despite having a contract at Goodison Park until 2018, rumours linking the three-time World Cup veteran with Colorado have been rampant since the club acquired the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order from the Chicago Fire during January's SuperDraft – giving them first priority to sign any player currently listed on the league’s Allocation Ranking List.

The Rapids declined to comment on the reports at the time, but the fact that the club then traded starting keeper Clint Irwin to Toronto FC the following week suggested that something was indeed in the works.

According to ESPN FC, who first broke the news of Colorado’s interest, Howard will make between $2.5 million and $2.8 million [£1.7-1.9 million] per season at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, but just $228,750 [£158,075] will count against the team’s cap in 2016 following his summer arrival.

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