Washington National Airport to Be Renamed Tim Howard Airport?

(Photo: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

A petition to change the name of a major airport in the Washington, D.C. area in honor of American soccer team goalie Tim Howard is gaining traction.

A native of North Brunswick, New Jersey, and a devout Christian, Howard served as goalie for the United States' World Cup team this year.

During Monday's game against Belgium, Howard made a record 16 saves in the Round of 16 World Cup game, according to the UK Daily Mail.

"[Howard] had set a new World Cup record since such statistics were first collected in 1966. Peru's Ramon Quiroga held the previous best with 13 against Holland in 1978," reports the Daily Mail.

"Seventeen of Belgium's 39 shots had found the target, only the extra-time efforts of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku managing to evade Howard; by this juncture, however, his rearguard had tired and the netminder was exposed. … Ultimately, the only thing Howard couldn't save was the day."

Posted on the White House's "We The People" petitions website on Tuesday, the petition has already garnered over 2,600 hits in an less than 24 hours.

"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," reads the petition. "Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America."

Filed under the categories of "defense" and "transportation and infrastructure," the petition was started by an individual identified as "S.O." and has gathered support from across the country.

If successful, this would not be the first time the major international airport had its appellation in some way altered.

"President Clinton approved changing the airport's official name from Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Feb. 6, 1998," noted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

To earn an official response by the White House, the petition to change the airport's name to honor Howard must get 100,000 signatures by July 31.