US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard

What's it going to be? Door number one, door number two, or door number THREE?!? Okay, so this new section has less to do with "Let's Make A Deal" and more to do with the Multiple Choice section of an SAT test. Normally, "In Threes" peeks inside the personality of a select National Team player as they pick one of three choices for 25 questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

Finally, Tim Howard is getting his chance. After backing up Tony Meola for years with the MetroStars, he has taken full advantage of his starting spot with the NY/NJ club. Since then, the North Brunswick, N.J., native became the youngest player to win the Goalkeeper of the Year honor when he did so in 2001 and then became the only back-to-back winner of the award when he claimed the prize again in 2002.

On the international level, he has faced similar roadblocks, being forced to ride the pine when Brad Friedel (featured this issue in “Superstar!!!”) was called in to the U.S. Under-23 MNT as a wild card player just prior to the 2000 Olympics AND getting stuck on the depth chart behind Friedel, Kasey Keller and Meola for a trip to Korea with the full team last summer. But now it’s his time. After being dubbed “the goalkeeper of the future” and having his potential bandied about for so many years, he has officially emerged as the best young goalkeeper in the nation. Howard will likely start this weekend when the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Canada to kick off the 2003 season. For now, he answers our Pop Culture Pop Quiz:

Best city: LA, NYC or Chicago?
“NYC. It's the closest one to Jersey--can't beat that.”

Worse haircut: Mohawk, mullet or bowl cut?
“Mullet, because I had a bowl cut in sixth grade. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was sadly mistaken.”

Most macho vehicle: Sports car, SUV or big ol' truck?
“Sports car. Porsche is the classiest.”

Best date activity: Movie, Theatre, or Comedy Club?
“Movies--nice and traditional. I'm a renaissance man. You don't want to go to a comedy club and get ragged on by the comedian in front of your girl.”

Better late night talk show: Tonight Show, Late Show or Daily Show?
“None of the above, because Conan O'Brien is the best. He's hilarious.”

Best SportsCenter anchor: Chris Berman, Dan Patrick or Keith Olbermann?
Dan Patrick is the best. He's got that deadpan comedy approach I like.”

Best morning radio show: Stern, Mancow or your local morning zoo station?
“I listen to Star and BuckWild on 97.1 in NYC. It's like hip-hop talk, crackin' jokes. I think Stern is an idiot.”

Best male superhero: Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
Batman. The guy's king. He's got more powers than all the others.” [Editor's note: Actually, Superman had all the superpowers, but to be fair, Batman did have more gadgets than Spiderman.]

Best female superhero: Wonder Woman, Catwoman or Silver Storm?
“Catwoman. No explanation needed.”

Hottest male superhero love interest: Lois Lane, Vicky Vale or Mary Jane?
“I follow the superheroes. I don't really watch the chicks too much.”

Most Talented Latin Bombshell: Christina Aguilera, Paulina Rubio or Shakira?
Shakira. And she's the hottest, too.”

Hottest American Teen Pop Queen: Britney Spears, Mandy Moore or Jessica Simpson?
“Jessica Simpson, by far. She's got the whole package.”

Better old school rap group: N.W.A., Public Enemy or Beastie Boys?
Public Enemy. They rapped about issues that matter.”

Best rap originators: Sugar Hill Gang, Run DMC or L.L. Cool J?
Run DMC. Those guys were the kings. They brought it to another level.”

Best Lakers Team: Wilt's Lakers, Magic/Kareem's Lakers or Shaq/Kobe's Lakers?
“Magic's team was the bomb. They were the best to watch, and all of them had rings.”

Best sports magazine: Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine or Men's Digest?
“ESPN the Mag. I think the articles are much more interesting. They talk about things people care about. And they have much better pictures.”

Best men's magazine: Maxim, FHM or GQ?
GQ. I'm into fashion. The other ones are crap. They're a bunch of a whole lot of nothing.”

Best kind of bike: Mountain bike, Lowrider bike or BMX bike?
“BMX. I used to love the kids who could do freestyle tricks on their bikes. It was the coolest thing ever--way better than my bowl cut.”

Coolest X-game: surfing, snowboarding or skateboarding?
“Skateboarding, because I would never get in the half pipe. I also like those MotoCross Big Air competitions. They have those big dirt mounds you can flip off of.”

Better video game system: Xbox, PS2 or GameCube?
“From what I hear, Xbox. But I don't play them that much. I spend my down time reading. Right now I'm reading ‘Left Behind.’ It's a fictional version of the Book of Revelations.”

Best soccer kick: free kick, penalty kick or corner kick?
“Corner kick. (It’s) much easier to defend.”

Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
“Italian. I grew up Jersey, remember? I love basil and garlic, and they use a lot of both.”

Best stir fry meat: chicken, beef or shrimp?
“Beef. No reason. I just like beef.”

Best burger-and-fry fast food: McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's?
Burger King. It's more tasty in every way. And they have the best fries in the group.”

Best breath mint: TicTacs, Altoids or Flavor Strips?
“Flavor Strips. You just throw them on your tongue and you don't have to mess with them.” 

Table of Contents
Armchair Midfielder (What's to be in 2003)
In Threes (w/ MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard)
D.J. for a Day (w/ U-20 MNT defender Chad Marshall)
Queries and Anecdotes (w/ WNT midfielder Angela Hucles)
Mark That Calendar (Back to Bidness…)
Superstar!!! (w/ MNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel)
FAN Point/Counterpoint (Reviews of "Our Way")
"You Don't Know Jack (Marshall)" (2002 WNT Trivia)

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf).

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