In an interview with ESPN’s Mike and Mike Wednesday, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said it’s not the players’ job to develop the sport of soccer. He says all the players have to do is play and “people are either attracted to it or not.” He says America loves winners so all they have to do is go out and win.
“I suppose it’s talked about in that context where it is on our shoulders to grow the sport. We go out and play a beautiful game — or at least we try to — and the supporters are either attracted to that or not,” Howard told Mike & Mike on Wednesday. “The numbers have been staggering — people want to watch. That’s all we have to do. Go out there and try to win. America loves winners, we know that. So if we can keep winning and keep playing well, the rest of it will take care of itself.”
He credits the other country’s outstanding play for the longevity of the sport in their countries.
“We’re getting closer. It takes time, some of these countries have been playing the game 100 years longer than we have. We need to keep producing young talent, clearly we’ve shown we can,” the 35-year-old Everton goalkeeper said.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is optimistic for the future of the country’s soccer team.
“The talent gap is difficult to discuss,” Klinsmann said. “We’ve done well to recruit a lot of good talents and we need to have those competitions to make them grow. They fly home in a couple of days and will realize this is beyond their limits. This is not the Champions League. That experience will help them and we will simply keep building.”
Overall, Howard feels good about the sport and his teammates.
Im proud to suit up w every one of these guys. It's a tremendous honor to represent this country & a ride I'll never forget. Thx for joining
— tim howard (@TimHowardGK) July 2, 2014