While soccer collecting is normally dominated by the dynamic scorers, like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Tim Howard is one of the main faces of US soccer and and is viewed as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. After his impressive World Cup performance, Tim Howard cemented his legacy as one of the greatest US players in history and has seen a renewed interest in his soccer cards.
Tim Howard made his professional debut with the New Jersey Imperials from the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (USISL). He then moved to the MLS, joining the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. This is where he first started to emerge as an elite keeper. After several great seasons, Howard made the move to Manchester United and the English Premier League in 2003 and immediately became their starter.
Although this EPL transfer put him on the global map for soccer, Howard's play was inconsistent and he made a habit of losing and regaining his starting spot at goalkeeper. After several up-and-down seasons, Manchester United loaned him to Everton, which marked a positive turning point in his career. He signed a permanent deal with the club soon after and has been their starter since then. Tim Howard is currently under contract with Everton until 2018.
Although he left the MLS in 2003, Tim Howard continued his American legacy with the US Men's National Team. He emerged as the starter in 2007 and participated in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup. Both tournaments saw the team progress to the Round of 16 before being eliminated. 2014 is particularly noteworthy because Howard made 16 saves in the knockout game versus Belgium. Although the team lost 2-1, Tim Howard single-handedly kept the United States in the game.
Because of his affiliation with the US team and his lengthy and diverse career, Tim Howard collectors have a decent amount of card options. Autographs remain the most popular choice, and prices are largely reasonable, although they spiked after his final 2014 World Cup performance.
Top Tim Howard Cards
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The very first Tim Howard card was actually part of a promotional giveaway from the MetroStars. The cards were released in foil packs of five cards, which means it takes several packs to make the 23-card set.
One of his first traditional cards came from Upper Deck's 2003 Manchester United product. Howard is featured on two horizontal base cards, both of which showcase two action images, and arguably the best cards shots available for the keeper. This is also the product where Cristiano Ronaldo made his ManU card debut.
The first pack-pulled autographs for Tim Howard came in 2003-04 Upper Deck Manchester United and 2004-05 SP Authentic Manchester United. Collectors have several different designs to pick from, including autographed jersey cards and dual autographs, but most have very limited print runs. The Sign of the Times autograph below is one of the most plentiful options.
Likely due to his 2010 World Cup showing, Tim Howard was included in the 2011 Allen & Ginter autograph checklist. The colorful framed card is the first of several on-card autograph options for Howard.
With a clean look and on-card signature, 2012 Goodwin Champions offers an intriguing signed option for collectors. The art-like image may not work for everyone, but a large signing area and appealing design are both positive attributes.
2012 Upper Deck MLS showcases Tim Howard with two rare autograph options. Both cards are limited to 25 and feature sticker autographs. The card on the left came as a redemption.
2013-14 Topps Premier Gold brought collectors the first signed card for Howard as a member of Everton. A variety of parallels add to the autograph totals.
Easily one of his most popular cards, 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup has proven to be one of the biggest products in soccer collecting history and this Tim Howard card is included among the lengthy autograph checklist. His Prizm parallel, numbered to 25, brings a dose of rarity to collectors.
2014 Prizm World Cup also offers a limited dual autograph card with Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey. When you combine the base and Prizm parallel, only 20 of these cards exist.
Despite leaving the league in 2003, MLS products continue to include Tim Howard autographs. Howard is available in the 2014 Topps MLS US Soccer Icons Autographs set along with Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones and Brad Guzan. The card has a bright and patriotic look and includes a shot of Howard from his MLS days.