Howard helped Everton to a 1-0 win over Portsmouth in the Toffees' fourth straight shutout in all competitions. Fellow keeper Brad Friedel went down, 2-1, with Aston Villa against his former club, Blackburn, and Villa slipped to seventh place.
Striker Jozy Altidore played only seven minutes in Hull City's 6-1 loss to Liverpool. Fulham, with Clint Dempsey going 90 minutes, lost, 1-0, to Arsenal.
Oguchi Onyewu again stayed on AC Milan's bench as it tied, 0-0, with Bari.
In Scotland, neither Maurice Edu nor DaMarcus Beasley saw action for Glasgow Rangers in its scoreless tie with Aberdeen.
In Germany, where Bradley's Gladbach fell to 12th place, Steve Cherunolo went 90 minutes for Hannover, which lost to defending champ Wolfsburg, 4-2.
In the German second division, Kenny Cooper, who scored in a midweek cup game, couldn't find the net for 1860 Munich, which tied, 0-0, with SC Paderborn 07. Keeper David Yeldell went the distance for Koblenz in a 1-1 draw with FC Augsburg.
In France, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes lost, 1-0, to Bordeaux. Charlie Davies also went the full 90, for Sochaux, which lost, 2-1, to Nancy.
Two Americans saw action in Mexico and both got yellow-carded: San Luis' Michael Orozco in a 3-0 loss to Chiapas and Edgar Castillo in Tigres' 2-1 loss to Atlas.