March 5 (UPI) -- United States Men's National Team great Tim Howard is coming out of retirement to play for Memphis 901 FC of the USL Championship, a second-division soccer league.
"Since my retirement in October, my obsession for football has grown," Howard said in a statement. "The desire to win continues to drive me. I love to play and I love to compete, this gives me the opportunity to do both."
Memphis 901 FC announced the signing Wednesday.
Howard's spot on the team is pending league and U.S. Soccer Federation approval, as he is a minority owner of the Tennessee-based franchise. He will maintain that role, as well as serving as sporting director, while playing for the club.
"When he's in the locker room as a player, he will act as a player," Memphis 901 FC coach Tim Mulqueen said. "His focus is only going to be on winning. There will be very clear lines that the players will recognize."
Howard, 40, debuted in Major League Soccer in 1998 for the New York MetroStars. He went on to collect 399 appearances for Manchester United and Everton. He returned to MLS in 2016 to play for the Colorado Rapids and made 121 appearances for the U.S. men's team, including three World Cups, before retiring in 2019.
The star goalkeeper will make his first appearance for Memphis 901 FC at 5 p.m. EST Saturday at AutoZone Park in Memphis.
"I've made a commitment to the city and people of Memphis to build a perennial playoff team," Howard said. "One whose goal continues to be lifting the Eastern Conference trophy and ultimately bringing the USL Cup to AutoZone Park."