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USMNT legend and Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard threw out the first pitch for the Rockies

Tim Howard makes a living defending, not attacking, but before Sunday's game between the Rockies and Cubs at Coors Field, the prominent soccer goalkeeper fired in a strike when throwing out the game's first pitch.

"I was nervous, surprisingly enough, because I don't want to screw up," Howard said after his throw in front of a packed crowd. "But when you play in front of thousands of people, it's no problem when you play your sport. But with something else, it's a little different."

Howard, who signed with the neighboring Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer in March, grew up in New Jersey and admired the Mets and Yankees in his youth.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Rockies stars Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and others followed Howard's success with Team USA. Howard was admittedly taken aback when Rockies players were star-struck by his presence on Sunday.

"I think, as an athlete of another sport, it's flattering when other athletes know your work. You expect fans to appreciate that because there's that relationship between players and fans. But when it comes from other players, I think you get awe-struck a little bit. I'm 37 and I still do."

"These guys, they know teams I've played for, goals that I've scored one time and it's pretty impressive," Howard continued. "For us, as soccer players, it's great that Major League Baseball players know what's going on in soccer. It's awesome."

Howard's Rapids are in second place in the Western Conference standings, just two points behind FC Dallas. A playoff run is hopeful and realistic. Gonzalez told Howard he hopes to return the favor and attend a Rapids game soon.

"If we can get [Gonzalez] in our locker room, our guys would be through the roof," Howard said.