Tim Howard takes leave from US men's soccer team

By Leighton Schneider,

Tim Howard has announced that he will be taking a leave of absence from international competitions for the U.S. for the next year.

In a post on his Facebook page, Howard told his fans that he will be taking time off to spend family and especially his kids. He knows that he will not be given a spot on the team when he returns though.

“I understand that I will have to earn my place with the team and in the lineup when I come back, and I look forward to doing that," Howard wrote. "Physically I feel as strong as ever, and right now my heart, min and body all feel good about continuing on with the national team for the next World Cup."

Howard is the U.S. career leader in appearances with 104 and wins with 55 for goalies. He has made the last three World Cups and has played every minute in goal for the past two World Cups, according to the Associated Press.

During this year’s World Cup in Brazil, Howard won the Budweiser Man of the Match twice and set the World Cup record for most saves in a game with 15 against Belgium, according to U.S. Soccer.

Howard’s back-ups in Brazil were Brad Guzan, who plays in the English Premier League, and Nick Rimando, who plays in Major League Soccer.

The next game for the national team will be on Sept. 3 against the Czech Republic in Prague.

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