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Tim Howard loses Everton starting goalkeeper job to Joel Robles

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Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Tim Howard is not only one of the best American goalkeepers to play the sport of soccer, but he's also an Everton FC legend. However, his status as one of the club's all-time greats isn't enough for him to keep his starting goalkeeper job. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Joel Robles will keep the job even though the veteran Howard has returned from injury.

The United States international has been Everton's No. 1 goalkeeper for the better part of the last 11 years. Unfortunately he's hit a very rough patch of form this season and has been overtaken for the job by Robles.

"It's been a really good, consistent period for him and the back four. I think defensively, you look at the performance against West Brom and it's exactly what we expected. We only conceded one corner, one shot on target, and unfortunately that went in.

"To have three clean sheets before that is something we can build on and carry on on those lines.

"That's when you are in a strong position, when you've got football making the decisions. It's important that you give continuity and at the moment, Joel is doing really well.

"But Tim Howard has been injured and he hasn't been able to fight for his place back. We'll benefit from the competition for places and that's the way I want to see it."

-Roberto Martinez; Source: ESPNFC

It has to be a bitter pill to swallow for Howard to lose his job while out injured, but in reality this was just the excuse Martinez needed to make the tough decision he probably should've made months ago. The USMNT goalkeeper has made several glaring mistakes this season and cost his team valuable points. If he weren't such a respected member of the club, there's a good chance he'd already have been benched.

Rumors have been consistent for the last month linking Howard with a Summer move to the Colorado Rapids. This demotion all but assures that his long tenure with Everton is coming to an end. It may not be long now until we see Howard back playing in MLS.