8:13am PT by Hilary Lewis
Tim Howard Says U.S. Team 'Gave Everything We Had,' Memes 'Quite Funny' (Video)
Just hours after his historic World Cup performance in the USA’s loss to Belgium, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard made the rounds on the morning shows, appearing on Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning.
From Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Howard told GMA he just woke up after the team landed there around midnight, the star athlete reflected on Tuesday’s crushing defeat.
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"I said last night we were heartbroken, and we were," Howard said on Today. "Thirty-one teams go home heartbroken. Our journey ended just a little bit too soon. We felt like we played well yesterday. I don't think the guys could've given any more after 120 minutes. We gave everything we had, and to be honest, we're proud of that."
Still he felt like it was too soon to analyze the game.
“It’s hard to dissect the loss, especially one of that magnitude,” Howard told CBS This Morning. “The fact that we played really well against a top country in Belgium. We punched and we counter-punched and gave as good as we got.”
Although Howard set a record with his 16 saves on Tuesday, he remained humble, telling CBS This Morning he has just been working hard and repeatedly saying that he was just doing his job: “Stick my face in front of balls and get in their way.”
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“I know for me, unfortunately, that wasn’t enough,” Howard added on GMA. “But we nearly did it and I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”
When asked whether this was the best game he'd ever played, Howard told Today, “No, because we lost.”
Still, his performance was enough to make him the subject of a number of heroic memes, including ones placing him on Mount Rushmore and a dollar bill and naming him U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Howard told GMA he hadn’t seen the memes but thought they sounded “quite funny.”
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The goalkeeper was appreciative of the fans’ support during the U.S. team’s World Cup run, telling GMA, “We were motivated by that and inspired. It gave us hope and recognition that we were doing it for more than ourselves and it was special.”
And he was optimistic about what the team’s performance would mean for the popularity of soccer in the U.S.
“It looks big by the numbers and the reaction, we hope, the momentum that we created, that the fans created over the past month, that we can sustain that and push forward because it’s been absolutely amazing,” Howard said on CBS This Morning. ”As once a young kid who loved the sport and couldn’t find anything on television, we’ve come a long way.”
On GMA, he noted that the team is still young but said the next World Cup “seems a lifetime away,” explaining that right now he was going to get some rest and spend some time with his kids.
“I’ll just try to figure out what’s what and let the dust settle,” he said on ABC.
Watch Howard’s interviews on GMA, Today and CBS This Morning below.