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Howard, Spector and Cooper recall Sir Alex Ferguson experience
Howard, Spector and Cooper recall Sir Alex Ferguson experience

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Howard, Spector and Cooper recall Sir Alex Ferguson experience

This Sunday will be the last time that millions around the world will view Sir Alex Ferguson marching along the sidelines, guiding Manchester United.

For 26 years, the fiery Scottish manager won countless trophies with the Red Devils and turned United into the world's most followed sports club. One of Ferguson's biggest successes during his almost three decades with the club was recruiting top players from around the world, particularly from the CONCACAF region where the likes of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Tim Howard have made moves to the legendary club.

Goal spoke with three American players, Howard, Jonathan Spector and Kenny Cooper, all formerly of Manchester United, to get their perspective on the Ferguson.

Howard was the starting goalkeeper for the Red Devils between 2003-2005 while Spector and Cooper were both youth academy products that ended up having success with other clubs. All three men point to their time at United as critical part of their careers.

Here are their thoughts:

On Ferguson's retirement:

What you learned from your experience at Manchester United:

Howard: There was certainly nothing negative from my perspective and my experience at Manchester United was priceless. It was incredible in every way.  I am a better person and a better goalkeeper because I spent three years there under some amazing tutelage from Alex Ferguson and some of the coaches and other players. I learned so much that I can't learn anywhere else and I apply them to my career. My time there with him was pretty much like every other player...he's amazing as a man manager. He treats everyone the same. He holds everyone to the same high standards.

Spector: There were many positives. I had the opportunity to learn from arguably the best manager in football, and play with some of the best players in the world. I was given the chance to play in both the Champions League and the Premier League. After spending a season on loan at Charlton I wanted to continue to play on a regular basis, and in order to do so I needed to move on. I will always be grateful to Manchester United for giving me my start in English football.

Cooper: I owe my soccer career to what I learned at Manchester United. I was a big fan of the club before I joined it and became a bigger fan after I left.

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