July 1: Tim Howard’s Herculean Effort at the World Cup
Like so much of the sporting world in 2014, the World Cup couldn’t avoid stories that cast it in a negative light. Before the opening kick-off, Brazilians were in the streets protesting their nation’s choice to spend money on a soccer tournament instead of social services. Then a thrilling group round was overshadowed by recalcitrant Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez sinking his teeth into the shoulder of an Italian defender. Luckily for Americans, Tim Howard was there to save us. In the USA’s knockout round match against Belgium, the 35-year-old goalkeeper turned in a performance for the ages, saving a World Cup-record 16 shots and allowing only two goals. Unfortunately, Howard couldn’t play striker, too, and the USA lost the match. Six months later, the pain of the loss has dulled, if only slightly, but Howard’s performance remains remarkable and worthy of another viewing.
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