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Don't bet on Tim Howard re-joining MLS

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Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tim Howard is returning to MLS? That was the rumor flying around last week, but it's a pretty far out there one, and Everton manager Roberto Martinez agrees.

"That's the first I've heard of it. Obviously, Tim has got a long-term contract here, which he signed in the summer.

"He's in the best moment of his career. When you're a goalkeeper of that age, you're starting to use your experience to influence the people around you.

"I think his level of goalkeeping has been terrific. His contract finishes after the next World Cup, and I don't think anything before that is going to tempt him to leave Everton. I don't think that's the case at all."

When Howard signed his new contract with Everton, which will take him through the summer of 2018, he said that closed the door on his returning to MLS. His plan was to play out that contract and then retire. The only question was whether he would continue playing for the United States, something that has not been decided as he takes a year-long break before reconsidering his national team future. But his club future was set.

Howard has gone through a bit of a rough patch this season, making more mistakes than usual and currently finding himself on the sideline with an injury. Still, it doesn't look like the Toffees are going to move on and find a new goalkeeper to replace him and that appears the most likely way for Howard to land in MLS.

If Everton thought Howard couldn't cut it anymore and bought a new starting goalkeeper, then they may allow Howard to leave and join MLS. At that point, Howard would probably be open to it, but the Toffees appear content with the American for now, so a return to MLS looks unlikely.