Metros deny Red Devils' Howard capture
By Chris Bergin (ussocceruk.com)
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY METROSTARS president and general manager Nick Sakiewicz has denied rumours that keeper Tim Howard has signed with Manchester United, but revealed he is not surprised by their interest in the US international.
The 23-year-old keeper is being monitored by The Red Devils, which included the club's goalkeeping coach travelling to the US recently to watch Howard, who put in an impressive performance for the States against Mexico in their 0-0 draw in front of 70,000 fans in Houston.
However, talk of the American signing a deal at Old Trafford has been fully dismissed by Sakiewicz, as he concentrates on his team's clash with Dallas Burn in MLS action at Giants Stadium on Saturday night.
The MetroStars are hoping to maintain their excellent run of form as they are looking for their fifth successive win when they face The Burn.
"Man U have not signed Tim to a contract and I will not comment on any rumoured discussions because that is not fair to Tim or the other players on our team trying to prepare for Saturday's match against Dallas," said Sakiewicz.
MetroStars beat writer Ives Galarcep first revealed Manchester United's interest in the keeper a month ago, but UK media reporting at its worst chose to resurrect the Howard link by blowing out of all proportion his slight Tourette's syndrome condition.
Sakiewicz reacted to the highly inaccurate reports by adding: "As to the style of how your papers are reporting this subject all I will say is that they do not represent your country very well and the great people that live over there whom have stood with the Americans recently.
"They should be outraged over how the press is portraying Tim Howard because he truly is a world class goalkeeper."
Howard's chance of moving to a European team could be boosted in the near future, as he holds a Hungarian passport, as well as US, and with the country set to become a member of the EU, he would not require a work permit.
The MetroStars keeper has been in fine form for the Eastern Conference club, propelling himself into the top end of the highly competitive US national keeper role, ably covering for Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller when they are omitted from the squad due to English obligations.
Sakiewicz noted his pride in how MLS players are now at the forefront of English interest, justifying and confirming the advances made by US football and the US top-flight.
"I would say that it does not surprise me of the interest in Tim Howard," he added. "Many people in the football business in England have scoffed at our league however the truth is that MLS is a strong league that is on a par with many First Divisions in Europe and better than some.
"I am not naive to say we are up there with the depth of quality of Man U, Arsenal or Real Madrid but at the same time we are not light years away.
"Like many things in this world football is no different. The world is getting to become a smaller place and the Americans are finding their way into the world's most popular sport whether people like it or not."