The USA's World Cup hopes may have ended last night with a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Belgium, but a new hero was born.
Tim Howard, the US national team goalkeeper kept his team in the match for long periods with an impressive display of shot-stopping, denying the Belgian forwards again and again as the game went into extra time.
The Everton goalkeeper pulled off 16 saves, the highest number of any World Cup game in the last 50 years according to ESPN.
Fair to say that the US fans were impressed with the 35-year-old's performance, but it did not stop there. On Twitter, Howard was being touted as the next US president, asked to solve the national debt crisis and calling on the government to make 4 July 'National Tim Howard Day'.
Of the 1.8m tweets that mentioned Tim Howard during the game, here are a few of the best.
Despite the loss, Tim Howard’s record setting performance was monumental. pic.twitter.com/eaqF2Whkxq— ESPN (@espn) July 1, 2014
This is what Tim Howard's save chart FEELS like... pic.twitter.com/g0BRKOYway— SportsNation (@SportsNation) July 1, 2014
Tim Howard has just been appointed as the United States Secretary of Defense— Grant Rodgers (@grantrodgers5) July 1, 2014
Howard v Hillary anyone?
Looks like someone had fun with Howard's Wikipedia entry last night.
Someone changed the US Secretary of Defence on Wikipedia to Tim Howard. Fantastic. pic.twitter.com/haPrHWPLjx— Cam (@_camwba) July 1, 2014
Even celebrities chipped in with admiration for the goalkeeper.
Tim Howard remains a god. Hanx— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) July 1, 2014
But probably the best measure of how good his performance was came from this tweet, by Belgian team captain Vincent Kompany.
And they say Americans can't do soccer.