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Tim Howard's daughter is a budding soccer star

Ali Howard is the leading scorer for the nationally-ranked Briarcrest. The Saints compete for a state championship in Chattanooga this week.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — How does who many consider the greatest goalkeeper in American history enjoy his retirement?

Tim Howard keeps busy as a minority owner with Memphis 901 FC, an analyst for the Premier League and as a dad — helping his daughter become the next "Howard" soccer star. 

Ali Howard is in the middle of a breakout season for Briarcrest. The sophomore striker leads the nationally-ranked Saints with 18 goals and seven assists in 15 games. Her team will compete for a state championship this week.

"Watching her this season, things have started to click in a lot of ways," Tim Howard said. "I just love she has the ability and the desire that pushed me a long. That's what spurred my career."

A career that took a kid from New Jersey to the posts for Manchester United, Everton, and Team USA.

He is the all-time caps and wins leader for a men's national team goalkeeper. Howard's 15 saves against Belgium in 2014 remains a World Cup record.

Still, that's not quite cool enough for his teenage daughter.

"It's kind of weird because I just see him as my dad," Ali Howard said. "Just hanging around, but then everyone's like 'Oh my gosh!' I'm just like, 'what?'"

Ali Howard said it's "nice" having her father around, but according to the U.S. goalkeeper, she has had a few conversations telling him to "step back."

"It's nice having him around [to] watch all my games; give me a little bit of help," she said. "Not too much though."

Dad has taken that news in stride.

"More than anything, I wanted to be so hard on her that she understood what it meant to compete," he said. "Once I started to see that in her, I stepped back a little bit because I knew it was her time to shine."

Despite his success at the position, Howard is glad the net was never Ali's calling.

"When she was young, the coach gave her the gloves and she was rotating," Tim Howard said. "She went in goal and she cried and I was like, 'that's great —don't want to be in goal.' I wouldn't have been a goal keeper if I could've been good in the outfield. Leave the goal keeping to me, I'm certainly happy she is further up the pitch." 

Ali Howard said that being outside the goal is "more her speed."

"They said 'Ali, go in goal' and I was like 'no, I don't want it,'" she said. "I just wanted to do something different. I didn't want to do the same thing. A lot of people know who he is — in the goal especially."

Recruitment starts for Ali next year. With college not far away and after years of being on the road, Tim is soaking up every precious moment to watch her compete.

"It's joyous for me," Tim said. "I love coming to the games."

"It's really awesome having him on the sideline and watching me grow," Ali said.

"She dreams big," Tim said. "I'm just excited to watch her out there running around, scoring goals and trying to accomplish those dreams."

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