Tim Howard kept a clean sheet in his 414th and final game for Everton on Sunday as the managerless club completed the Premier League season with a 3-0 victory over relegated Norwich.
In the first game since Roberto Martinez was fired, Everton opened the scoring in the 19th minute through James McCarthy with a superb 20-yard (meter) finish, following Kieran Dowell’s assist.
A penalty from Leighton Baines on the stroke of halftime, followed by Kevin Mirallas’ strike just after the break, cemented an easy win for Everton against 19th-place Norwich.
Despite this impressive performance, Everton finished in 11th place, far below pre-season expectations. It will now begin the task of appointing a new manager before next season, with Dutchmen Frank de Boer and Southampton manager Ronald Koeman being linked with the job.
Before heading back to the United States to play for Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer, the 37-year-old Howard penned an open letter to fans of Everton where he has spent a decade.
“I remember the promise that (manager) David Moyes made to me 10 years ago: `Once you walk through those doors, you’ll fall in love,”’ Howard wrote in a social media posting.
“Today, I will walk through those doors one more time, and then I will depart. I will depart with love in my heart for the greatest of football clubs, the People’s club, Everton FC. I will always be thankful to so many. Of course, the fans _ those who bring such passion and make Everton what it is.”
Howard is leaving England 13 years after joining Manchester United.
The American has agreed to a 3-1/2-year deal with Colorado and he will be added to the roster at the opening of the secondary transfer window on July 4.