Goalkeeper Tim Howard has had no problems in making the transition to Major League Soccer and has been brilliant for the Colorado Rapids from the outset.
The long-time United States goalkeeper spent the last 13 years in English soccer, including 10 seasons at Everton, before it was announced in March that he would sign a three and a half-year deal with Colorado.
Howard appears just as familiar with his Rapids team mates.
The 37-year-old enjoyed his second shutout in just three matches with the team on Saturday and helped them to a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City.
Howard, who became available to the Rapids when the transfer window opened on July 4, flashed classic form in the 54th minute when he saved an acrobatic effort from Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer.
“(Howard) really solidified that back line, took the sting out of the game a couple times, made a couple of good plays and did a fantastic job today,” Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni told reporters.
The club expected as much when they brought on one of the top goalkeepers the United States has ever produced.
Howard has been part of many bright moments in U.S. soccer while representing America at three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014) and being voted goalkeeper of the year in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by CONCACAF, the soccer confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Colorado (10-2-7), further boosted by their acquisition, now have an unbeaten streak of 14 games as they make a run in the Western Conference.
They trail first-placed FC Dallas by three points and have a home match-up against Dallas set for next Saturday.
“We know going into that game next weekend it’s going to be a dog fight,” said Colorado attacker Marlon Hairston, who scored the game-winner for the Rapids in the 78th minute against Kansas City. “Hopefully we can continue to get results.”