Howard: I’ll always love Everton, but it’s time to go

Mark Holmes
Tim Howard: Has left Everton to join Colorado Rapids

Tim Howard: Has left Everton to join Colorado Rapids

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard will end his 10-year stay with the club to join Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids at the end of the season.

United States international Howard, 37, whose 352 Premier League appearances is a club record for Everton, will join the Rapids on July 4 during the MLS secondary transfer window.

He has vowed to finish his career in England on a high.

“I will miss it a lot,” Howard told Everton’s official website. “This is home. I grew up here. To stay 10 years in any place is a long time and this has become without doubt my family.”

Howard, who has made a total of 412 appearances for Everton since arriving in a £3million deal from Manchester United in February 2007, said the time was right to return to America but that he would always be an Evertonian.

“I will remain an Evertonian for life. This will always be my team, my club,” he said.

“I sacrificed so much to play the amount of games I have over a 10-year period, so I will continue to support this club that I love.

“The club is amazing, I love it and I will always be an Everton player.

“I have been at Everton 10 years and it’s been a brilliant 10 years. I spoke to my family, I spoke to Roberto (Martinez) and I spoke to the chairman, Bill Kenwright.

“We had really great discussions and we all felt this was the right move and the right time.”

Howard arrived in England in the summer of 2003 when Manchester United paid MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) £2.3million.

He made 77 appearances in just over three-and-a-half years with United and joined Everton, initially on loan, in July 2006 before the move was made permanent the following February.

Howard, who has made over 100 appearances for his country, played 210 successive league games for Everton between September 2007 and March 2013, the second longest run of consecutive matches in Premier League history.

His 131 clean sheets in the Premier League is the ninth highest and during the 2008-09 campaign he set a top-flight record for an Everton goalkeeper of 17 clean sheets in one season.