The Washington Post

Tim Howard won’t play in Everton’s friendly against D.C. United at RFK Stadium

U.S. World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard won’t play in Everton’s friendly against D.C. United on Saturday night at RFK Stadium, Toffees Manager David Moyes said Friday.

“Because of his long commitments to the USA national team during the summer months, we’ve had to make sure he’s had some holiday time with his family,” Moyes said. “He’ll be here to say hello but unfortunately he won’t be playing.”

Howard wasn’t in uniform for Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly loss at the Philadelphia Union. He’ll rejoin the club Friday afternoon and resume training on Saturday.

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“Nobody’s coming now,” United Coach Ben Olsen joked about the fan turnout.

Olsen said he understood the situation.

“Look, this is how these happen: You have these preseason games (involving European clubs) and everybody has their own agendas on what they need to do and Tim has played a lot of soccer and players need rest. I’m sure that’s the case.”

In the weeks leading to the match, United officials said they had been told that Howard would probably be available to play. Hence, the MLS club promoted Howard’s appearance, with the caveat that player availability is subject to change. (A large ad featuring Howard appeared in The Post sports section today.)

Upon the conclusion of Everton’s 2010-11 campaign in May, Howard joined the U.S. national team for training camp, a friendly against world champion Spain and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which ended June 25.

Mikel Arteta, Everton’s Spanish midfielder, will also miss the DCU match after injuring his foot Wednesday.

“He has quite a bad injury,” Moyes said. “He is out, definitely. We’re getting a scan today, we’ve had an X-ray, we think we might need to go back to diagnose it correctly.”

Everton opens the Premier League season Aug. 13 at Tottenham.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.


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