Tim Howard has been named 2015 CONCACAF Male Goalkeeper of the Year. That is not a joke. That's a real award that the region's governing body hands out and they picked Howard for it in an entirely serious fashion.
In CONCACAF's estimation, the best goalkeeper from the region was a man who played all of one match for his country in 2015. And at the club level, this man struggled mightily. Even the most staunch of his supporters would say he was simply average in 2015 and his manager faced regular questions about whether they would have to buy a replacement for him.
By any measure, Howard did not have a good 2015. That doesn't make him a bad goalkeeper, or entirely undeserving of being in the mix to start for Everton or the U.S. It's just an acknowledgement that he was far from his best. And yet CONCACAF decided that was better than anyone else in the region.
The crazy thing is it might actually be true.
Guillermo Ochoa, who started for Mexico in their Gold Cup winning campaign, does not play for his club so the default choice can't make much of a claim to the award. The Jamaica goalkeepers, Ryan Thompson and Dwayne Miller, may have been in the net as the Reggae Boyz went to the final, but they weren't good so choosing them would be farcical too. Jaime Penedo, who was strong for Panama, left the LA Galaxy in the summer so only has half a year to his club resume. Even Howard's own teammate, Brad Guzan, was in the nets for the U.S. nearly all year and was solid, but he was benched by Aston Villa in the spring for poor play and was recently benched again because it wasn't much better in the gall.
It wasn't a good year for CONCACAF goalkeepers. The only real challenger to Howard is Keylor Navas, who has been good for Real Madrid this season, but he didn't play in the Gold Cup and was only used sparingly at the Bernabeu in the spring of last year.
So maybe Howard was the best goalkeeper in CONCACAF last year. Oh god, that's sad.