Ex-U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard named Memphis 901 sporting director

Former United States international goalkeeper Tim Howard has been named sporting director at Memphis 901 FC, the USL club announced Wednesday.

"Tim has been integral to our pursuit of excellence," Memphis principal owner Peter Freund said in a team release. "There is no one who cares more deeply about this organization, this soccer community and its future more than Tim does."

The move represents Howard's first foray into a front-office position since he retired as a player in October. He was already a minority owner of the club, having acquired his stake in the fall of 2017.

"As a minority owner, it's nice to sit up there in a suite," Howard said. "[But] by the nature of who I am, my competitive spirit, the goalkeeper in me, this role [of sporting director] has given me an excitement that mimics playing."

Howard and Memphis 901 president Craig Unger are part of an investment group that owns English fifth-tier side Dagenham & Redbridge. Howard has also been contributing to Bleacher Report's broadcasts of the UEFA Champions League.

"The wealth of knowledge and experience Tim brings to this role cannot be replicated," Unger said. "I look forward to working with Tim to building upon our success of our inaugural season."

Howard also has a long history with Memphis manager Tim Mulqueen, who first spotted Howard when he was 12 years old. He later was Howard's goalkeeper coach with the North Jersey Imperials, then of the USISL, and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars of MLS.

Howard played 13 years in the English Premier League and had 121 caps with the U.S. national team. He will work full-time helping choose players while developing approaches for both the club and technical staff. Memphis has nine players returning from its inaugural season.

Memphis also named James Roeling as assistant sporting director. He spent the past six seasons with the Colorado Rapids as senior manager of team operations.

Information from ESPN's Jeff Carlisle and The Associated Press was used in this report.