America's soccer hero talks retirement, bringing another MLS Cup to Colorado

America's soccer hero wants to retire with the Colorado Rapids.

Tim Howard, the legendary goalkeeper and captain for the Colorado club, announced his plans to retire following the end of his contract in 2019 earlier this week.

"I've had a long career thankfully," Howard said following their second preseason training. "I've got two years on this current contract here and the time will probably be right."

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The 38-year-old made his MLS debut with the MetroStars, now the New York Red Bulls, in August 1998. In 2002, he received his first senior cap with the U.S. Men's National Team. He is currently the most-capped goalkeeper for the U.S Men's National Team with 121 international appearances.

Howard made his return to the MLS in 2016 after playing 13 years in the English Premier League with Manchester United and Everton.

With the clock ticking down on his final days as a professional soccer star, Howard says the goal for him has never changed.

"Trying to lift some silverware. I think that's vitally important for any player and it's important to me. I've never been one to be around for the numbers. It's important we drive this club forward and we're lifting trophies at the end of the day."

The Rapids have made a plethora of adjustments following an abysmal 2017 season that saw the Rapids win just 9 matches on their way to a second-to-last finish in the Western Conference standings. The first of many changes came when they brought in a young but talented coach in Anthony Hudson. In the two months since his hiring, the Rapids have made seven offseason signings.

Howard knows that the standards were not high enough last year and changes to the club were "a long time coming."

"I really feel like we have it right now but that also puts a lot of pressure on us to get it right," Howard explained. "Last season was no good, nobody wants to talk about it. Now we move forward in trying to implement on these new players and new faces."

One of those new faces is Edgar Castillo, a nifty-winger who played with Howard with the USMNT.

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"He's supremely talented, in particular, in this formation," added Howard. The Rapids plan to move from the standard flat back four formation to a 3-5-2, with the two wingers having the option to give support in the backfield when needed.

Other big additions include center midfielder Jack Price, who last played with Wolverhampton of in the English Championship, defenders Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne and Kip Colvey.

The club also had five draft picks in the 2018 MLS Draft, but loaded up primarily on strikers.

The Rapids opened up preseason here in Colorado before heading to Arizona on Wednesday for the rest of preseason.