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A Fine Day for Tim Howard
MLSnet.com, July 30th, 2009 3PM
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The MLS All-Stars outshot Everton, 21-6, but could beat Everton's American keeper, Tim Howard, just once. Howard, the top goalkeeper for the U.S. national team, made six saves for the match - several of the spectacular variety - and three more in the shootout. He was a nearly unanimous choice for MLS All-Star Game MVP.

"It's awesome. It's an honor," Howard said. The MLS All-Stars were quick to praise the Everton keeper. "He's a world-class goalkeeper. He's been doing it for a bunch of years now. We expect nothing less from him. He's an outstanding 'keeper, that's why they love him at Everton," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman.

Howard made big saves at key times. In the 38th minute, it appeared the All-Stars would take a 2-1 lead when Stuart Holden put a cross right onto the head of Conor Casey, who flicked it hard on goal. Howard, moving with the ball, quickly dived back to his left and pushed the shot aside. He made another remarkable save deep into second-half stoppage time. With the game knotted at 1-1, Brad Davis hit Davy Arnaudwith another fine cross. Wide open and from point-blank range, Arnaud nodded the ball on goal, but Howard made an amazing reaction save to push the ball over the crossbar and send the game into a penalty shootout.

In the shootout, which pitted Howard against former No. 1 American keeper Kasey Keller, Howard emerged victorious after saving Freddie Ljungberg's final shot. Everton coach David Moyes praised his prized keeper: "Once again Tim Howard has proved that he is certainly the best goalkeeper in America, and if he keeps playing the way he's doing at the moment, it might not just be America."

 

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