Tim Howard had an outstanding World Cup for the United States and his performance against Belgium might be the best any goalkeeper played in Brazil, but it still wan't enough to get him nominated for the Golden Gloves. FIFA announced the finalists for the award on Friday and the American did not make the cut.
Keylor Navas, Manuel Neuer and Sergio Romero were the three finalists for the award given to the best goalkeeper at the World Cup.
Few would argue that Navas deserves to be a finalist. He was absolutely sensational for Costa Rica and, in the opinion of many, the man most responsible for their making the quarterfinals. The only knock against him is that he lost a penalty shootout, which is a pretty idiotic thing to hold against him.
Neuer has also been stupendous this tournament. He plays for a great team so he was not bombarded with shots the way Navas or Howard were, but he has made a handful of important and spectacular saves. Toss in the work he does coming out of his box to clear away danger, something that is vital to the way Germany plays, and there's a compelling case to be made for the German.
But Romero? That is where the finalists get strange. Romero has a great record, with Argentina having only allowed three goals in the tournament and none in the knockout stages, but little of that has been down to the goalkeeper. Argentina have defended incredibly well and have limited the shots Romero has to face. Even the ones he does face aren't especially difficult to stop. Had Argentina lost in penalty kicks to the Netherlands, odds are he isn't on this list and is just benefitting from backstopping a finalist.
Meanwhile Howard twice earned Man of the Match, standing tall against Portugal and Belgium. Against the latter, he set a World Cup record for saves in a match, turning back the Red Devils repeatedly and almost single-handedly putting the Americans into extra time.
Joining Howard on the list of goalkeepers who have a case to make the short list is Memo Ochoa, who was excellent for Mexico.
Instead, it's the goalkeepers of the two finalists and the tournament's standout. It's a strong list, but is it the best? Howard would argue otherwise.