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Soccer: US Goalkeeper Tim Howard Will Transfer to Manchester United - 2003-07-13

Tim Howard of Major League Soccer's (MLS) New York/New Jersey MetroStars has become the first American goalkeeper for Manchester United.

His rights were officially transferred to the world-renowned English Premier League club on Monday after being granted a work permit. Manchester United will reportedly compensate MLS $2 million for the 24-year-old Howard, who will earn a base salary of around $1.4 million. United will also pay a $1.5 million bonus if Howard displaces Frenchman Fabien Barthez as the team's number-one keeper.

The 24-year-old Howard played his last MetroStars game on Saturday, a 3-3 tie with the New England Revolution. The New Jersey native made his debut with the New York/New Jersey team in 1998 at the age of 18.

He can make his debut with Manchester United on July 22 against Glasgow Celtic in a friendly match in Portland, Oregon.

Howard had helped lead the MetroStars to first place in MLS's Eastern Conference with a record of sevens wins, four ties and four losses.

The MetroStars picked up a quality goalkeeper to replace Howard in Johnny Walker, formerly of Universidad Catolica of Chile.