FRISCO, Texas – The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced on Saturday current Memphis 901 FC supporting owner and Sporting Director Tim Howard was a member of its 2024 Hall of Fame Class. The United States Men’s National Team legend is joined in the class by USL founder Francisco Marcos, who was elected in the Builder’s category.
Howard starred for both the U.S. National Team and the English Premier League for nearly two decades, playing 121 full internationals for the United States between 2002 and 2017. Howard appeared in 39 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, made eight appearances at the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and 2014, won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2007 and 2017, and on three occasions was voted Concacaf Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year (2013, 2014, 2015).
Howard’s professional career began in the USL in 1997 with the North Jersey Imperials before he signed with the MetroStars in Major League Soccer, where he played between 1998 to 2003. Howard then played 13 seasons in the English Premier League, three for Manchester United and 10 for Everton. He returned to MLS in 2016 and played for the Colorado Rapids until 2019.
In 2018, Howard was part of the ownership group that established Memphis 901 FC and was appointed Sporting Director as the club became part of the USL Championship in the 2019 season. Howard played for 901 FC in the 2020 campaign before concluding his playing career. He is the eldest goalkeeper to have recorded a shutout in the USL Championship’s history.
“I’m incredibly honored,” said Howard after being surprised with his selection by NBC Sports colleague Rebecca Lowe. “When you play football, you try and play for the love and for the glory, and hopefully along the way you do some things. I’m very nervous at the moment, that’s really incredible.
“When you start out playing – you have a little boy who plays, I have a daughter who plays – it’s fun. You can’t think of these moments, you get your head down and you work hard. I always say I’m a kid from Jersey who enjoyed playing soccer, who learned how to compete and learned how to love the game. This is pretty special.”
Howard was elected in his first year of eligibility, and appeared on 95.8 percent of ballots.
Marcos pioneered the predecessors to the present-day United Soccer League. In 1987, after serving as an executive for several North American Soccer League teams, Marcos launched the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, which evolved into the USL over the next two decades.
Marcos oversaw the USL’s expansion at both the professional and pre-professional levels before the organization’s 2009 acquisition by its current leadership, led by Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis. Marcos was also previously a vice president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and won the USSF’s Werner Fricker Builder Award in 2007.
Marcos was elected as the highest vote-getter in the Builder Category, appearing on 70.8 percent of ballots.