|© UNICEF UK/2006/Peters|
|Born in the United States, goalkeeper Tim Howard now plays in England for Manchester United.|
The first American to ever play for Manchester United in the English Premier League, Tim Howard, a 26-year-old New Jersey native, joins ranks with UNICEF and FIFA for the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE FOR PEACE campaign.
As a member of Manchester United, Mr. Howard has a long-standing relationship with UNICEF. He and several other Man U players recorded a video appeal for UNICEF that aired throughout the world after the devastating tsunami in South Asia. The video helped raise funds to save and protect thousands of children affected by the disaster.
Born to an African-American father and Hungarian mother, Mr. Howard faced financial hardship throughout his childhood, but found 'soccer' in high school as a way to persevere through the difficult circumstances.
A towering goalkeeper with unmatched agility and athleticism in the penalty box, Mr. Howard has superb reflexes and an uncanny knack for goal saving. He began his pro career immediately after high school, playing with the North Jersey Imperials of the USISL. Before long he was signed by Major League Soccer, joining the MetroStars in 1998 and earning the starting goalkeeper position by 2001. In his first full year as a starter he was named MLS's Goalkeeper of the Year.
Put to the test
His accolades gained Mr. Howard notoriety as the best goalkeeper in America, and Manchester United took notice. He made the rare leap to the English Premier League from MLS in 2003, surprising the football world.
The unknown American player was put to the test when he first arrived, and he wasted little time securing a place on United’s first team and becoming a celebrated English footballer.
Despite uprooting from his homeland and adapting to the pressures of the Premier League, Mr. Howard went on to start 44 games for Manchester, collecting his first winners’ medal with the club in the FA Cup final victory over Millwall. He signed a new contract in April 2005 that keeps him with Man U through 2009.
In another challenging match-up off the football pitch, Mr. Howard has battled Tourette's Syndrome for many years. He has dedicated himself to reaching out to others affected by Tourette’s, raising awareness about the disorder. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey and was honoured by New York Life with the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2001 for his efforts in this arena.