The Colorado Rapids will have to go the rest of the way in the MLS Cup Playoffs without Tim Howard.
The team announced on Monday that Howard will undergo surgery to repair an adductor injury suffered in the USMNT’s 2-1 loss to Mexico on Friday. It will force the 37-year-old goalkeeper to miss the rest of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Howard suffered the injury while taking a goal kick late in the first half of last week’s World Cup Qualifier. After trying to gut it out, he asked to be taken out in the 40th minute. Brad Guzan replaced him in goal.
The procedure will be performed USMNT team doctor Michael Gerhardt on Thursday.
Colorado acquired Howard from English Premier League side Everton in March. Eligible to play when the summer transfer window opened in July, Howard made 17 regular season starts. The Rapids won six, lost three and drew eight with the veteran keeper in between the pipes.
In the Western Conference semifinals, Howard played a key role in the Rapids overcoming the LA Galaxy. He made two saves in the penalty shootout which took place after the two sides were tied 1-1 on aggregate through 120 minutes in the second leg. It marked the club’s deepest push in the MLS Cup Playoffs since they won it all back in 2010.
With Howard sidelined, Zac MacMath likely takes over starting duties for Colorado going forward. But the Rapids should be in good hands as MacMath was fairly stout in net before Howard arrived. His 0.76 goals against average is the best in MLS among goalkeepers who’ve made a minimum of 17 starts.
The Rapids are back in action next Tuesday when they take on the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of the Western Conference Finals. Kickoff is set for 8 PM Mountain Time with the game being televised on FS1.