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Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

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Centurion Howard's USA Pride

Keeper reflects on racking up 100 international caps.

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Tim Howard insisted he preferred winning his 100th USA cap before the World Cup.

The Everton man racked up a century of international appearances when he helped his side to a 2-1 friendly win over Nigeria on Saturday night.

It was the Americans’ final warm-up game before they head to Brazil and the keeper insisted he is pleased the ‘pageantry’ surrounding the landmark has been completed before the tournament kicks off.

He said: “It’s more important to me to reach 100 caps before the World Cup. I don’t want the distraction. Friends have mentioned how amazing it would be to get it in the opening game of the World Cup, but I would like to get it out of the way.

“The World Cup isn’t about pageantry, it’s about business and that’s really important to me.”

Howard’s international career spans over 12 years, the last eight of which have been as an Everton player.

Since switching to Merseyside he has seen his role in the international setup grow.

He continued: “I’m entering my third World Cup. I’ve seen it and we’ve done it. I was there in 2006 to be a part of the group.

“In 2010, I was able to play, and we had some magical moments I will cherish. But, we’re back here four years later and we know what we have in front of us.

“We know what level we need to get to in order to beat these three teams and get out of the group. The butterflies are flying around and I’m excited again.”

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