Tim Howard says he decided to leave Goodison Park to boost his chances of appearing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 37-year-old, who already has 107 caps for the USA, is set to move to Major League Soccer this summer after announcing his departure last month.
After almost a decade on Merseyside following his 2007 move from Manchester United, Howard will join Colorado Rapids come the end of the Premier League season, and hopes the move will put him firmly on Jurgen Klinsmann’s radar when picking his squad for the upcoming tournament.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.” As reported by The Sun (video below).
“It gives me an opportunity to be in the shop window before the next World Cup, and the excitement about being in Colorado and building something… people don’t care to hear that but that’s the most important thing for me.”
As well as loosing his number one place at Everton to Spaniard Joel Robles, Howard has also found himself as USA’s number two behind fellow Premier League goalkeeper Brad Guzan of late.
Guzan, recently relegated with Aston Villa, started for the USA ahead of Howard in the country’s recent 4-0 win over Guatemala during their 2018 qualifying group stage match.
However, manager Jurgen Klinsmann has left the door open as to who will be his side’s regular goalkeeper with the Copa America due to held in the United States this summer.
“Having a player like Tim back in our group is huge because of his experience. Is it more ideal if he [were starting for Everton]? Absolutely,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Sun claim Everton are keeping tabs on highly-rated Southend United goalkeeper Dan Bentley, who is seen as a potential replacement for the departing Howard.
Bentley, 22, is out of contract in the summer but could sign a new deal at Southend if the Shrimpers achieve promotion from League One this term.
Bournemouth, Norwich, Watford and West Brom are also reported to be interested in Bentley’s services.