From MLS to Premier League, and back again – has Tim Howard still got what it takes?

USA international goalkeeper Tim Howard looks set to join MLS side Colorado Rapids from Everton, according to reports by ESPN FC.

First appearing in MLS in 1998 for MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), Howard then moved to Manchester United in 2003, before signing for Everton in 2007 after a year-long loan spell.

After 13 years of service in the Premier League, he’s finally returning home to the USA for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of $600-750k.

Howard will reportedly sign a contract with the Rapids until 2019, which will see him earn around $2 million per-year.

Embed from Getty Images

It comes after initial reports had indicated that he was after a deal that would have seen him receive an annual salary of $5m.

Either way, he’s about to become the highest-paid goalkeeper in MLS, but the question is, is he really worth it?

Here’s a look at his Premier League stats over the last four seasons:

Tim Howard's Premier League stats since 2012 (via Squawka)

Tim Howard’s Premier League stats since 2012 (via Squawka)

Despite enduring one of his more uncomfortable seasons between the sticks for Everton so far, including losing his place in the side to Joel Robles, Howard has maintained a fairly consistent level of performance.

A closer look at the stats shows that he’s actually performed better in some areas this season than he did in the last campaign, with a higher clean sheet percentage and more saves-per-goal, although he has conceded more goals-per-game.

The 2013/14 season was particularly outstanding, but if you compare this year to 2012/13, his numbers are very similar, so he hasn’t gone downhill over the course of time.

The 36-year-old has been a stalwart for both club and country over the years, making more than 400 appearances for Everton and gaining 106 caps for the US national side, including being part of the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads.

Embed from Getty Images

He also made 77 appearances for Manchester United, winning the FA Cup and League Cup during his three-year tenure with the Red Devils.

Verdict: Tim Howard will be an excellent signing for the Colorado Rapids and provides stability, experience and most importantly, top quality goalkeeping. He’s bound to be a hit in MLS and could provide the Rapids with performances that make the difference between winning and losing games.

Howard’s transfer from Everton to Colorado Rapids is expected to go through when the MLS summer transfer window opens in July, meaning he will remain with the Toffees until the end of the Premier League season.

Will Tim Howard be a good signing for Colorado Rapids?

Advertisements

Transfer roundup: Wenger ‘likes’ Juve star, United forward to MLS, Timbers keen on Drogba

Daily transfer roundup (Wednesday, May 27)

MLS RUMOURS

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, 26, is set to leave the club this summer after returning from his loan spell with Real Madrid. His agent confirmed they have a whole host of tempting offers on the table, one of which includes a Major League Soccer club in the USA, likely to be Orlando City. (REPORT)

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has confirmed that his MLS club are interested in Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 37, and Juventus midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo, 36. Both have been linked with moves to MLS this week and the Timbers boss has done little to quell the rumours. (REPORT)

Embed from Getty Images

New York City FC are looking to bolster their defence with the addition of U.S. International defender Oguchi Onyewu, 33, on a free transfer. He’s just left Championship side Charlton Athletic after making just three league appearances, and is now looking for his fifth club in three years. (REPORT)

PREMIER LEAGUE RUMOURS

Tottenham are reportedly lining up a £12m offer for Burnley striker Danny Ings, 22. Ings is out of contract in June but Spurs are keen to seal the deal and beat their rivals to his signature. Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the Englishman in the past. (REPORT)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he likes Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, 28, after the Chilean was linked with a move to the Gunners this week. (REPORT)

Embed from Getty Images

Stoke City defender Robert Huth, 30, is looking to join Leicester City on a permanent basis in a deal worth £3m. The German defender joined on-loan in January and has made 14 appearances. (REPORT)

DONE DEALS

Newly promoted Bournemouth have confirmed the signing of Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici, 30, on a free transfer. The Cherries signed him on a three-year deal after his contract expired at the end of the season. He joins fellow ‘keeper Artur Boruc, 35, to the club who signed a permanent deal following his loan move. (REPORT)

Stoke City have signed goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard, 23, from Danish club FC Midtjylland for an undisclosed fee. (REPORT)

Graham Dorrans, 28, has signed a two-year deal with Norwich City. He joined the Canaries on-loan in February 2015 and has now made the deal permanent. (REPORT)

Former Chelsea and Manchester City star free to complete MLS move

Former Chelsea and Manchester City star Shaun Wright-Phillips is free to join up with brother Bradley Wright-Phillips at New York Red Bulls following his release at Queens Park Rangers.

Wright-Phillips has endured a torrid time at QPR and only played 128 minutes in the Premier League this season; only managing one start.

As he heads towards the twilight years of his career, SWP may want to join his brother at the Red Bulls. They are currently in search for a natural winger to replace Thierry Henry on the left flank, after the Arsenal legend retired at the end of the 2014 MLS season.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been sensational since moving to the States in 2013 and has an incredible goalscoring record of 33 goals in just 48 games for the Red Bulls.

Embed from Getty Images

BWP, holder of the MLS Golden Boot award, has started the current season in form, already netting five goals in 11 appearances.

The addition of SWP would provide balance to the side as well as frightening pace on both flanks, with Lloyd Sam already playing from the right.

Having already played for top clubs in England like Manchester City, Chelsea and QPR; the winger has more than enough pedigree to perform in MLS.

Would Shaun Wright-Phillips benefit from a move to Major League Soccer?

Portland Timbers boss confirms club are interested in Drogba and Pirlo

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has confirmed that his MLS club are interested in Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Juventus midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo.

Both Drogba and Pirlo have been linked with moves to MLS this week and the Timbers boss has done little to quell the rumours suggesting that we could see two superstars heading to the USA.

“We’ll go after anybody like that. We’d love to have guys like that, but it comes down to the feasibility of it and looking at the situation as well,” said Porter.

“We’re aware of all these guys that come over and sometimes we want them and they don’t want to come to us. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense for whatever reason based on the situation, but yeah, we’re looking at all those guys.”

Embed from Getty Images

Portland’s owner Merritt Paulson admitted back in January that he would like to have Drogba at the Timbers and although the Chelsea striker is ageing, Paulson believed the Ivorian would be “uniquely skilled to clean up in MLS.”

At the time Paulson said, “the league almost signed him a couple years ago and I know my coach would love him to be a Timber, but I highly doubt it at this point.”

However, it looks as though the likelihood of Drogba plying his trade in MLS with the Timbers has increased this week after the 37-year-old confirmed he is leaving Chelsea and is interested in playing in the USA.

Would Didier Drogba be an ideal signing for the Portland Timbers?

Is this Chelsea legend set to follow Lampard, Gerrard and Drogba to MLS?

Chelsea captain John Terry has revealed that he may be tempted to follow in the footsteps of former teammate and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard by making the move to MLS before his career is over.

Lampard will link-up with New York City in July, while Liverpool‘s Steven Gerrard is also set to join LA Galaxy. Didier Drogba has also admitted this week that he is interested in the possibility of playing in the USA.

Terry lifted Chelsea’s fourth Premier League title at the weekend at the conclusion of a season where he didn’t miss a single second of the Blues’ league campaign and hasn’t ruled out a move to MLS.

“I would love to finish my career at Chelsea and maybe there is a time when I look to go to play in America or whatever might be best for my family at the time,” Terry told Talksport.

“Hopefully I have a couple of years left at least. I always thought I could get to age of 35 and still be playing and I am getting close to that now.”

Embed from Getty Images

The 34-year-old would certainly be in high demand if he were to leave Chelsea, but he believes he can still achieve more before his time to move on or retire comes.

“Looking at this squad now, I think this squad has the potential to do a lot more than we did in the past, well beyond my playing days. It is not just the players that have done so well for us this season. There are so many young lads who could make the breakthrough to the team, too many to mention.

“It is harder than ever for them to breakthrough as you don’t get five games to find your feet any more, but the rewards are greater than ever as well.”

Would a move to MLS be good for John Terry when his time at Chelsea comes to an end?

Chelsea star admits he’s ‘interested in the USA’ and potential MLS move

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has expressed his interest in a potential move to Major League Soccer after he confirmed this week that he would be leaving the London club to play one more season elsewhere.

The 37-year-old lifted a fourth Premier League title on Sunday afternoon and although he’s leaving, he’s ruled out joining another English side.

“There are some really fantastic teams in the Premier League but my love for this club, I can’t share it with another English team,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“Since I put the news I am leaving Chelsea on social media, I was in the dressing-room and I was receiving some calls from teams which is really unusual. It showed that maybe I can still bring something to a team.”

Embed from Getty Images

Drogba also confirmed that MLS is certainly a possible destination for what is likely to be the final year of his career, given his age.

“Of course I’m interested in the USA. Now I’m going to have a few days and weeks to think about what is good for me next but all I want is to play.”

New York City FC have reportedly already made an offer for the Ivorian, while likely other clubs in MLS with a Designated Player slot available that could also be interested in Drogba’s services are DC United and New York Red Bulls.

Embed from Getty Images

The Eastern Conference rivals all have at least one DP slot available, although NYCFC are reportedly also interested in Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo and they can only sign one more player on a DP contract.

Should Pirlo join New York City, that would see DC United and New York Red Bulls emerge as favourites to land Drogba.

Which MLS club would you like to see Didier Drogba join if he were to move to the USA this summer?

Southampton striker’s MLS switch ruled out by Red Bulls boss

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has denied rumours that Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo is on the verge of joining his MLS side.

Ole.com had originally revealed that the Italian international was set to make a move to the USA and it was also later reported by NBC Sports.

But when asked whether there was any truth behind the link, Marsch claimed he hadn’t even heard of Osvaldo, according to onceametro.com.

“Who is that? There’s nothing to comment on. The fact that I didn’t know the player I think should be telling,” said Marsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Dani Osvaldo is currently on-loan to Argentinian side Boca Juniors and has scored three league goals in nine appearances. His loan deal with Boca runs out on June 30, so the Saints will be looking for another move for Osvaldo whether it be permanent or temporary.

He has also previously been on-loan at Serie A sides Juventus and Inter Milan, where he made a combined total of 23 league appearances, scoring six goals.

The 29-year-old’s future isn’t certain at this stage, but it looks as though he won’t be joining MLS any time soon. Well at least not with the New York Red Bulls anyway.

Would you like to see Dani Osvaldo in MLS?

Barcelona star could turn down Manchester United move for MLS switch

FC Barcelona right-back and Manchester United transfer target Dani Alves could turn down a move to the Premier League in favour of making the switch to MLS, according to The Guardian.

The Brazilian defender has made a staggering 393 La Liga appearances during his time with Sevilla and Barcelona but has yet to agree a new deal with the Spanish giants which has left the Red Devils keeping a close eye on developments.

However, because Dani Alves is now 32 years of age, The Guardian’s Tor-Kristian Karlsen believes that the attacking full-back may be “somewhat past his prime” and is a “possible recruitment for an MLS side”.

Embed from Getty Images

During his time in Spain, Alves has won five La Liga titles, two Champions League’s and three Copa Del Rey’s among other honours and would therefore demand a high weekly wage if he were to make the move to MLS.

Because of that factor, he would certainly have to join on a Designated Player contract. There are currently eight teams in Major League Soccer with Designated Player slots available, including expansion franchise New York City FC, where Alves’ former teammate David Villa is plying his trade.

The other expansion franchise, Orlando City, are owned by Brazilian man, Flávio Augusto da Silva. Ex-international compatriot Kaka and midfielder Pedro Ribeiro are also both at Orlando, so Alves could be persuaded by his fellow countrymen to join them in the USA.

Could Dani Alves make the switch to MLS?

Montreal Impact new signing Eric Alexander says players “have to push” each other

Midfielder Eric Alexander has recently joined Montreal Impact following two successful seasons at New York Red Bulls and has already spoken positively of how the team can improve.

When speaking to his new club’s YouTube channel this week, he said, “competition is always good in positions and it brings out the best in players. There are a lot of good players here, especially in the middle so it’s going to be tough but I think it’s going to be good for the club overall because we’re going to have to push each other.”

He also added that he hopes to bring “competitiveness” into positions where he may be playing and will “push” his teammates in order to try and “make everybody better.”

Eric Alexander is an experienced MLS player and has also had spells with FC Dallas and Portland Timbers before his time in New York.

Embed from Getty Images

Settling in at a new club can sometimes be a daunting prospect, even for the most decorated professional players, but it isn’t something that fazes the 26-year-old.

“It’s my fourth team in six years so being traded is nothing new. You always know it can happen, but I’m pretty excited to be here and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Alexander sees his strongest position as a central ‘box-to-box’ midfielder and said, “my better stretch of games came last year when I played in the middle, I think that’s my more natural position, but I don’t mind playing out wide at all. I’m not your typical winger but I still feel I can contribute.”

How important will Eric Alexander be for Montreal Impact in the 2015 MLS season?

Is Ronald Zubar the man to fix the New York Red Bulls defensive problems?

New York Red Bulls are a club in transition following the departure of a number of key players since the end of the 2014 season.

They’ve lost numerous defenders in the shape of Ibrahim Sekagya, Ambroise Oyongo, Richard Eckersley and most crucially, their mainstay at centre back, Jamison Olave.

After two years in New York, the Colombian has returned to former club Real Salt Lake where he spent four years between 2008 and 2012, and has certainly left a gaping hole to fill at the heart of the Red Bulls defence.

Embed from Getty Images

They have brought in young defender, Andrew Jean-Baptiste and have also re-signed Damien Perrinelle, but Ronald Zubar has to be seen as the key replacement for Olave.

The 29-year-old Frenchman brings bags of experience into the dressing room having played at Marseille, Wolves and more recently Ajaccio.

It’s crucial that he settles in quickly and adapts to life in MLS because he can almost guarantee that he’s going to be called into action immediately.

Zubar v Olave

Ronald Zubar should prove to be an ideal replacement as his defensive statistics are slightly ahead of Jamison Olave with less goals conceded-per-game when he’s on the pitch.

He also helps provide the team with more regular clean sheets, which is something that the Red Bulls need to desperately improve on, having kept just six in 34 games over the course of the last regular season.

Embed from Getty Images

The New York Red Bulls line-up is going to have a slightly new look about it in 2015, and new head coach Jesse Marsch will be hoping he can get the players to click in order to have a successful campaign.

Marsch seems in confident mood that he’ll be able to do so and told the club website, “once we add Zubar, we’ll have rounded out our team really well. The only other potential piece is figuring out how to complement Bradley Wright-Phillips up top, or at times if he’s not available, that we’re confident and always can supplement that role as well.”

Is Ronald Zubar the man to steady the ship at New York Red Bulls?