USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard added the second US player of the year award, winning the Futbol de Primera Player of the Year. Howard is also the 2014 US Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. Howard had an outstanding 2014 for the USMNT, coming up big in several games. Most noticeably, he recieved worldwide accolades for his play against Belgium in the World Cup Round of 16. Though the USMNT lost that game, Howard kept them in contention in a game decided in extra time.
“This was definitely an amazing goalkeeper performance,” USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann said following the Belgium game. “There is no doubt about it. He should be very proud of himself and we are proud to have him with us. Tim played tonight just phenomenal, he was outstanding. He kept us a long time in this game. We knew that going forward sooner or later we would have our chances, but he had an absolute amazing match tonight and you can just give him the biggest compliments in the world.”
“Tim Howard is an important player on our team and he’s expected to make big saves,” US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said after the World Cup exit. “Tonight he made a lot of big saves, the most since 1966 in a World Cup. That’s what he’s supposed do, that’s his job and he’d tell you that as well. It was an extraordinary performance.”
In August, Howard announced that he was going on sabbatical from the USMNT through September 2015.