U.S. Markets closed

Soccer star Tim Howard's retirement plan: Team ownership

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Tim Howard, the legendary American goalkeeper who earned the nickname “Secretary of Defense” for his heroics in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is winding down his 22-year career in professional soccer. The current MLS goalie for the Colorado Rapids announced back in January this would be his final season.

Next up: Howard has ambitions of team ownership.

He already holds an ownership stake in Memphis 901 FC, a team in the United Soccer League (USL) whose majority owner is Peter Freund, a New York investor who also owns stakes in the New York Yankees and three Minor League Baseball teams.

And Howard says he’d love to own a piece of another pro team.

“I love ownership, I love everything about it,” he told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “Putting people in place to be successful excites me.”

He wouldn’t be alone as a former soccer star turned soccer owner. David Beckham is the face of an ownership group launching a new MLS team in Miami in 2020. The group also includes former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

Meanwhile, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley owns a team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the Kingston Stockade.

Howard has also been working in television, doing commentary on TNT for UEFA Champions League games. He’d like to keep flexing that muscle as well.

“I want to stay really close to the game,” he says, “because it's given me everything and I feel like I've got a little bit to give back.”

COMMERCE CITY, CO - JUNE 08: Tim Howard #1 of the Colorado Rapids celebrates after defeating Minnesota United at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 8, 2019 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Howard’s predictions for 2019 and 2022 World Cups

As someone who started in every U.S. match at two World Cups (2010 and 2014), Tim Howard is a good person to ask for predictions on this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, now underway, and on the next men’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The American women, Howard says, face “big pressure, because they’ve been so successful. And as the defending champion, that puts even more pressure on. But I like their chances. I also like the fact that the host France has been labeled the favorite, so our women will have a chip on their shoulder.”

As for the men’s team, American sports fans remember all too well when the men’s team didn’t qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Howard does not think it will happen again.

“When we missed out on the World Cup, that is a pain that will probably never go away. That hurt. But in and of itself, it happened, and we move forward,” he says. “It was a good kick up the backside for us, and a wakeup call that we needed, and we will qualify, yes.”

Of course, Howard won’t be playing professionally come 2022. By then, he might be an owner of a second sports team.

Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

Read more:

Former soccer star Kyle Martino: 'Why have we turned it into a rich kid's game?'

Major League Soccer makes MGM betting deal, following NBA, MLB, NHL

MLS commissioner on sports gambling: ‘I don’t think we can stop it’

MLS commissioner on potential Columbus Crew relocation: ‘These things are traumatic’

MLS smashed attendance records in 2017