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Howard represented the United States under-20 national team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria, playing in group stage victories over England and Cameroon, before a loss in the Round of 16 against Spain. In July 1999, Howard was called up for the United States under-23 national team for the 1999 Pan American Games tournament. The United States ended the tournament with a bronze medal having overcome Canada in the Bronze medal match. Howard was used as a backup to Brad Friedel at the 2000 Summer Olympics. On March 10, 2002, he received his first senior cap, against Ecuador. On May 2, 2006, Howard was named as one of three goalkeepers on the United States roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, but served as a backup to Kasey Keller. Howard became the team’s first choice goalkeeper under Bob Bradley and started in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, a 2–1 win over Mexico. Howard was the starting goalkeeper for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, including the semi-final in which the United States upset Spain, then the number one-ranked team in the world. Howard’s eight saves earned him his first clean sheet of the tournament and the first shutout of the Spanish side since 2007. Following the United States’ second-place finish in the tournament, Howard was awarded the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper. Howard was the starting goalkeeper for the 2010 World Cup, in South Africa, and turned in a man of the match performance against England in his World Cup debut. Howard’s distribution to Landon Donovan led to the game-winning goal of the final group match against Algeria, giving the United States passage into the round of 16. During the United States’ round of 16 game against Ghana, Howard conceded two goals in a 2–1 loss. After Mexico defeated the United States to win the 2011 Gold Cup Final, Howard made a controversial statement regarding the post-match ceremony. The trophy presentation was conducted entirely in Spanish, despite the tournament being held in the United States. Howard went on to say that it was a “disgrace” and commented further that if the final had been in Mexico City and the United States had won, the ceremony would not have been made in English. On June 7, 2014, in the buildup to the 2014 World Cup, Howard received his 100th cap for the United States in a 2–1 defeat of Nigeria. On June 22, Howard was named man of the match for his display during the United States’ 2–2 draw with Portugal; his most notable save was a reaction stop to deny Éder, having previously diverted Nani’s shot onto the post. On July 1, Howard was again awarded man of the match, despite the United States losing 2–1 to Belgium after extra time in the round of 16. During the match, he broke the record for most saves in a World Cup match with 15. After breaking this record, his performance was celebrated worldwide on the internet, with the hashtag #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave trending on Twitter and numerous viral meme photos.