MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Things are a little different for Tim Howard these days. One thing, however, that remains unshakable, and will likely do so until the end of his career, is Howard’s refusal to accept less than maximum commitment, from both himself and his colleagues. Which is why, in an interview on a sunny Tuesday, overlooking a picturesque golf course, Howard spoke about the recent troubles of the United States national team with as much fire and conviction as if he’d just stepped from the field. For the veteran goalkeeper, even more troubling than a pair of November defeats to begin the final stage of World Cup qualifying, was the growing sense that under former head coach Jurgen Klinsmann a group of players had allowed their pride in representing their country to slip.
‘MARCA’ go with ‘No offer or plan to convince him [to sign a new deal’ whereas ‘SPORT’ say ‘Offer Imminent’. Of course, both headlines are related to the future of Lionel Messi whose current deal expires at the end of next season. It was reportedly leaked from sources in Barcelona that Messi’s future had moved to the front of the queue when it came to sorting out new deals for the current squad, although quite why that wasn’t the case in the first place is worrying. Another key part in all of this is the uncertain role Luis Enrique will play beyond this summer.
When a non-participating human person runs onto the field during a soccer game, it can be quite frustrating. It causes a break in play, the TV cameras are obliged to cut away to deny the attention-seeker the one thing they desire and the local police’s jail cells get one extra inhabitant that night. During Pachuca’s Liga MX clash with Chiapas over the weekend, zoological history was made when two different animal species invaded the pitch in the space of a single half!