A Yank In Manchester

BOB MARTIN/SPORTS ILLUSTATED

GLOVED ONE: Unrecognized back home in the U.S., the reticent Howard can't hide from the 68,000 screaming fans at Old Trafford

Back home in New Jersey, fat men didn't bellow songs in his honor. Back home women didn't stare while he shopped, kids didn't knock on his door for his signature, people didn't, as he says, consider their lives complete if they just got a whiff of his cologne. One day last summer Tim Howard was a 24-year-old from North Brunswick who happened to play soccer for a living; supremely gifted and almost wholly obscure. He could walk through his local mall wearing a jersey with his name stitched in Day-Glo, and no one would know him. Once a boy asked him...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!