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Is Tim Howard right to return to international football?

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Everton's No.1 planning to play for USA again next season

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Tim Howard has confirmed he is planning to return to international duty with the USA in September after a 12 month break.

Howard decided he needed some time out of last year's World Cup, where his performance against Belgium in the last-16 propelled him to worldwide stardom.

But now he is planning on a return, saying:

"After I spoke with Jurgen, I just decided to take this year off and then come back into the fold if I was fit, healthy and playing next September.

"I'll integrate myself back into the team if they will still have me and go from there and see what happens.

"I wanted more time with my family as I wanted more time out with my children and, to be honest, it's been a great decision."

Despite having extra time off during international breaks the 36-year-old struggled for Everton last season with many supporters wondering whether he was on the decline as a player.

Adding the further workload of international matches back onto his already busy schedule is only going to make things harder for Howard to recover between games, especially as he will have further to travel for USA matches than his European teammates.

Howard has already said he welcomes the upcoming summer break as a chance to switch off from football after nearly two years without significant time off. But ending his international exile will only make such breaks harder to come by.

We have seen many players over the years retire from internationals in order to prolong their domestic career and I can't help thinking Howard should do the same.

It is a tremendous honour to represent your county and I admire Howard's pride and dedication to representing the USMNT.

But speaking as a biased Everton fan, I can't help thinking he would be better off without the added pressure of international football in order to recapture the form he seemed to lose so rapidly last season.