Tim Howard joins Colorado Rapids, says he can't wait to get on the field

It's a big day for soccer in Colorado

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids held a press conference Tuesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park introducing the club’s newest Designated Player, Tim Howard.

The USMNT goalkeeper joins Major League Soccer via the Allocation Process after the Rapids secured the No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order in a trade with the Chicago Fire on January 14, 2016. The Rapids said Howard will be available to play on July 4 against the Portland Timbers. 

Here's a transcript of today’s press conference:

On looking back on his career and what he’s accomplished…

Tim Howard: I’ve always been someone who handles doors opening and closing very easily. Everton is always in my heart, it’s the club I spent 10 years at. But it’s a new chapter, a new challenge, it’s something I’m hungry for here. England was great for me, it was hard work, but nothing good is ever easy. I’ve got fond memories, great friends. It’s where my children were born and there’s a lot of great things about what has happened over the last 13 years in England. I’ll be retired for a lot longer, so I’ll have time to look back. Right now, I’m hungry, I’m excited, I love to compete, I love to play and it can’t come soon enough.

On how excited he is to get on the field…

TH: This will ultimately be an 18 month season for me. Pablo and I spoke quite a lot over the last couple of weeks and I didn’t really want a vacation. I just want to get out there. It’s what I do, it’s where I’m happiest. The sooner I can get on the field, the better. It’s been a long time coming just because of the way the seasons are structured both here in MLS and abroad.

On being able to reach 100 appearances for the club…

TH: I’m fitter at 37 than I was at 27. I hire my own physios, my own acupuncturists, I’ve got countless amounts of equipment in my house to make sure I’m fit and ready and able. What gives me my fire is competition. As soon as games come I can start yelling at people and yelling at myself, yelling at the referees and do what I do best. This offseason will be great. When the time comes and the season finishes and we lift something, it’ll be great. It’ll be great to get away for four weeks and sit on the beach, but right now, physically there is no problem.

On what he has been told about this team to get him fired up and ready to play…

TH: I mentioned when I first did some media back in March that this was a process. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has bought in, Transamerica has bought in. All of the players have bought in, the coaching staff, everyone is bought in to this project. When you don’t get the results in the last couple of years, of course it’s easy to downplay it, but I could see it. The promises that were made to me, the conversations that were had about bringing players in. Those players were brought in. The talk about having a good, solid core of young hungry American kids, that’s there. So I think a lot of the things we talked about on the inside were true, and unfortunately for people on the outside, you don’t get to see that when the results come.

On if someone specific convinced him to come to Colorado…

TH: There were things about these discussions that felt right. I didn’t think they were selling me a bill of goods, it felt genuine. That was the biggest part of it for me. There’s no place I’d rather be. Once I finished having those discussions, it was Denver for sure.

On being the brand ambassador for the Rapids…

TH: It’s going to be a good journey. I’m excited about settling in, allowing Denver to be my home and becoming a part of the culture and community, not just the team.

On the competitive balance in MLS…

TH: I think the great thing about MLS is the pressure to perform week in and week out. I like that parity. It keeps everyone in play and it keeps the level of pressure high, and I think we thrive off of that.

On the difference in playing for Everton or the Rapids or the USMNT…

TH: I’m scared to death of failure. I represent myself when I go out there and what I mean to each team that I play for, and I’m just fearful of ever letting one of those teams down. That drives me, in reality I think that drives every player. It’s not money, it’s the pressure to pull your own weight and be a good teammate and win games.

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