Tim Howard Mania Grips America: Soccer Fans Crown Christian Goalie Hero for Spectacular Show in Match Against Belgium

(Photo: Facebook/Tim Howard)U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, 35.

Despite America's 2-1 loss to Belgium in Tuesday's round of 16 World Cup match, soccer fans stateside have crowned the U.S. team's devout Christian goalkeeper Tim Howard a hero for his 16 epic and historic saves under relentless fire from the constantly attacking Belgians.

According to goal.com, Howard, 35, had the most saves in a World Cup match since 1966 when the statistic was first recorded. Now America is in the throes of Howard mania.

The plucky goalie has sparked an unending stream of impressive memes and is a trending topic on Twitter but that's not where the Tim Howard mania ends.

Thousands of people have already signed a White House petition launched Tuesday, seeking to Change the name of Washington National Airport (DCA) to "Tim Howard National Airport".

YouTube/Associated Press

"Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match; Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America," noted the declaration on the petition which as of Wednesday morning had nearly 4,000 signatures.

And for a moment Tuesday, someone changed the Wikipedia entry for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and replaced him with Tim Howard and fans loved it.

Twitter/Danielle Elliot

There was also a litany of comparisons to Jesus on social media like this tweet from Lachlan Markay.

"Tim Howard saves almost as much as Jesus. But unlike Howard, Christ had 11 guys he could trust," he noted.

Despite the comparison however, Howard, a devout Christian who has been very vocal about his faith, declares that he looks to Jesus for salvation.

Twitter/tim howard

"The most important thing in my life is Christ," he noted in a 2006 interview with Campus Crusade for Christ. "He's more important to me than winning or losing or whether I'm playing or not. Everything else is just a bonus."


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