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Tim Howard set for 200th consecutive EPL appearance

Dec 13, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

Everton v Sunderland - FA Cup Sixth Round Getty Images

No real surprise that American No. 1 Tim Howard will reach an important milestone at Everton. Still, this is a milestone that deserves a long, slow applause for one of the true pros of American soccer.

Howard is set for a 200th consecutive Premier League appearance Saturday for his Toffees.

Saturday’s contest against Stoke City will mark Howard’s 286th outing overall for David Moyes’ club. (A determined bunch that finds itself today in a surprising fourth in the Barclay’s table.)

What Howard told Everton’s official website:

I try not to follow my stats because I just think it’s bad karma, bad luck. But it’s incredible – where’s the time gone?

“I’ve been really lucky and I’ve steered clear of bad injuries. Every now and then I’ve gotten sick or gotten the flu but it’s been at the right time in the week where I’ve been able to recover. … I’ve been lucky to have a manager who believes in me, who probably has played me on occasions where maybe I didn’t deserve the nod but has shown confidence in me.”

Last time a man not named Tim Howard stood between the Toffee pipes? Back in September of 2007, when Stefan Wessels manned goal vs. Aston Villa.

Not bad for a guy whose career path looked more iffy when Alex Ferguson looked for something better at Manchester United in 2007.

With some luck, Howard, 33, could possibly fetch fellow American Brad Friedel, who stood goal in 310 consecutive Premier League matches before losing that mark after Hugo Lloris pushed through with Tottenham back in October.

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