"I believe that we will win."
In the summer of 2014, Tim Howard became an overnight sensation after more than ten years as one of America's leading professional soccer players. His record-breaking 15 saves for the United States national team against Belgium in the World Cup electrified a nation that had only recently woken up to the Beautiful Game after decades of hibernation.
An estimated TV audience of 21 million viewers in the U.S.—larger than those of the NBA and NHL finals—watched Howard's heroic performance against the heavily favored Belgians in which he repelled shots with his hands, feet, legs, knees, and even his signature long beard.
Suddenly an athlete who had toiled in relative anonymity for much of his career became the star of his own Internet meme ("Things Tim Howard Could Save": from Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" to the Titanic), and fielded personal calls from the likes of President Barack Obama ("You guys did us proud. . . . I don't know how you are going to survive the mobs when you come back home, man. You'll have to shave your beard so they don't know who you are").
In this inspiring and candid memoir, the beloved U.S. and Everton goalkeeper finally allows himself to do something that he would never do on the field: he drops his guard. Howard opens up for the first time about how a hyperactive kid from New Jersey with Tourette Syndrome defied the odds to become one of the greatest American keepers in history. He recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of all sports—he was also a standout high school basketball player—and a devout faith that helped him cope with a disorder that manifested itself with speech and facial tics, compulsive behavior, and extreme sensitivity to light, noise, and touch.
The Keeper is also a chronicle of the personal sacrifices he's made for his career, including the ultimate dissolution of Howard's marriage—a casualty of what he calls his "addiction to winning"—and its most painful consequence: his separation from his two children.
A treat for soccer fans, The Keeper will even captivate readers who are unfamiliar with the sport but want to know what makes a world-class athlete different from the rest of us—and where that difference gives way to common ground.
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