(NEW YORK) — Goalie Tim Howard announced Thursday he will take a one-year off from the United States men’s national soccer team.
The 35-year-old will still play for Everton in England’s Premier League and won’t have a chance to return to the national team until September 2015.
“Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time,” Howard said in a statement. “I am grateful for the willingness of both Jurgen Klinsmann and Everton manager Roberto Martinez to afford me the opportunity to spend time with my kids. It’s the right decision at the right time. Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with, so I look forward to coming back next fall and competing for a spot.”
On his Facebook page, Howard also expressed interest in playing for the U.S. in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Physically I feel as strong as ever, and right now my heart, mind, and body all feel good about continuing on with the national team for the next World Cup,” Howard wrote. “It is difficult to predict the situation in four years but I know this decision is right for me today.”
Howard has played every minute of every match for the Americans at the last two World Cups.
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