The United States' World Cup dream came to an end on Tuesday, but goalie Tim Howard made sure Belgium earned its 2-1 win by playing the game of his life. Howard made 16 saves, the most in a World Cup game since 1966. His incredible performance thrilled the nation and inspired hilarious memes.
In his words:
- On the U.S. effort: "I said last night we were heartbroken, and we were," he told Matt Lauer on TODAY Wednesday. "Thirty-one teams go home heartbroken. Our journey ended just a little too soon. We felt like we played well yesterday. I don't think the guys could've given any more after 120 minutes. We gave everything we had, and to be honest, we're proud of that."
- On Belgium: "They've been the dark horse of this tournament. We were always going to run into a tough game, and I think we gave as good as we got."
- On whether this World Cup will make soccer more popular in America: "I think so. The numbers are staggering. Not only the television numbers, which are obvious, but in the parks and the bars and everywhere in between. It was incredible to see. We were motivated by that and inspired by that. We saw all the videos and the highlights of our fans, and it was special to be a part of that. They felt like they were part of it here, and we felt like we were part of it back home."
Online, folks got busy, fast, using the hashtag #ThingsTimHowardCanSave and creating hundreds of memes to celebrate his big effort.
There were even some creative alterations to Howard's Wikipedia page, though it was quickly restored.