Tim Howard signs new long-term deal with Everton

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard is set to complete a decade

at Everton after extending his contract at the Premier League club

until 2016 on Thursday.

The 33-year-old Howard has played 256 games for Everton since

joining from Manchester United in 2006, initially on loan before

signing a permanent deal in February 2007.

”It’s a place that is home for me,” Howard said in an Everton

statement.

Howard’s consistent performances for the northwest club have

helped him keep the goalkeeper jersey for the U.S. national team,

for which he played last week in the historic 1-0 win in Italy. He

has played 72 times for the U.S.

Howard this season scored his first professional goal – a

length-of-the-field effort in a 2-1 home loss to Bolton in

January.

”When you have a really good relationship in life and both

sides are eager to continue and keep that going, it’s a

no-brainer,” Howard said of his new contract.

”This hasn’t been a knockdown, drawn-out type of negotiation

with meetings or anything like that. They were very happy to keep

me here and I was very, very happy to stay.”

Whether he stays on playing into his 40s is another matter

entirely.

Fellow American goalkeeper Brad Friedel is still impressing at

the age of 40 with Tottenham in the Premier League, while Australia

goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer recently signed a contract with Fulham

until 2013 – when he will be approaching 41.

”When (the new contract) is finished, I will take stock and

figure out what I want to do,” Howard said. ”At 33, I find it

difficult to figure out how the 40-year-old goalkeepers get out of

bed in the morning.

”As long as I am healthy and still have the desire to compete,

I have to consider continuing to play. But as you get to 38, 39,

40, those things start to diminish, especially physically.”