Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard will try to put his club’s woes behind him as he joins up with the United States squad this week.
The Rapids have the lowest point total in MLS and are enduring an eight-game winless streak, though their anemic attack has been more to blame than the defence.
But Howard, who was named to Bruce Arena’s U.S. squad for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras, said international duty is a different situation.
“I always look forward to going to the national team, no matter the circumstances,” Howard said. “It’s a different team. It’s a different set of priorities and goals.”
Colorado has 24 goals through 25 games this season, the second-lowest total in MLS. The minus-14 goal difference is the fourth-worst in the league, but the Rapids’ 38 goals allowed puts them in the middle of the pack.
“I do what I can,” Howard said. “I make the saves I can make. I try and organize, try and lead and I feel like I have been doing that.”
Howard drew praise from Colorado interim coach Steve Cooke, even as his side fell to a 4-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
“He made two to three unbelievable saves,” Colorado interim head coach Steve Cooke said. “In any generation, he’s a fantastic player. I hope everywhere he goes people embrace him.”
Looking ahead to the qualifiers, Howard was confident that the U.S. could earn two wins and all but wrap up a spot in Russia next summer.
“We know Mexico can probably qualify with a win in this next game, but we need to beat Costa Rica at home, nothing changes there,” Howard said.
“Then we need to go down to Honduras and dig in and get a result. We think we can win down there. Hopefully, if everything goes well we can go to Orlando [against Panama in October] and seal it and if not we go to Trinidad.”
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.