Sorry, Knicks fans, but Tim Howard is probably going to stick with soccer. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Fresh off his heroics at the World Cup, USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard appears ready for a new, much more difficult challenge: joining the New York Knicks.

Well, maybe not. But Howard, who grew up in New Jersey, posted this intriguing tweet today:

The fact that he tagged it #TBT (i.e., Throwback Thursday, a weekly excuse to tweet out pictures of oneself from years gone by) — plus the fact that he’s missing several forearm tattoos — confirms this as a lighthearted use of an old photo.

But it is true that Howard, while obviously a standout soccer player, was also a very good basketball player at North Brunswick Township high school. In a New York Daily News story, his former hoops coach had this recollection:

“On the basketball court, he used a lot of his soccer skills. We would press, we would double team and he would play the passing lane in a way that no one’s seen at the high school level before then, or even since.”
When North Brunswick played St. Joseph High School at Rutgers University in the conference championship game in 1997, Howard was assigned to guard Jay Williams, who eventually led Duke to an NCAA Tournament title in 2001 and won the Naismith and Wooden Awarda as the best player in college basketball.
Howard held Williams, who was a sophomore that season, in check, and North Brunswick won the tournament.

Oh, man, could the Knicks use someone who actually knows how to play defense. Maybe Carmelo Anthony would have taken even more of a pay cut had he known there was any chance of landing Howard.

Too bad for New Yorkers this was just a joke. But maybe, just maybe, it will happen if Knicks fans come together and chant: “I … I believe … I believe that … I believe that we will sign Tim Howard!”