Right at home
Manchester United overwhelms Juventus in Howard's debutPosted: Thursday July 31, 2003 11:01 PM
Updated: Thursday July 31, 2003 11:52 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Tim Howard found out fast that playing for Manchester United is a lot different than being in goal for the MetroStars.
Howard made 12 saves in his first game with the English Premier League champion, which beat Italian League winner Juventus 4-1 in an exhibition game Thursday night.
"The game is very fast," Howard said. "It's like getting thrown into a frying pan. But I have to get used to it."
Howard's debut with the world's biggest club came of front of a sellout crowd of 79,005, the largest for a soccer game at Giants Stadium.
The 24-year-old from North Brunswick played in the same stadium for 4 1/2 season with Major League Soccer's MetroStars before Manchester United acquired his rights on July 14 for $3.6 million.
"I thought he was excellent," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "He showed the attributes we recognized. He was brave, agile and quick."
Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored for Manchester United, coming off its eighth English Premier League title in 11 seasons. It was the third straight win for the Red Devils on their U.S. tour, which ends Sunday against Barcelona in Philadelphia.
Giggs started it in the 24th minute with a free kick into the right corner of the net.
Scholes scored in the 57th minute from 17 yards out off feeds from Juan Sebastian Veron -- rumored to be in transfer talks with Chelsea -- and Solskjaer.
Van Nistelrooy's goal skidded past reserve goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti in the 60th minute.
Juventus broke through in the 70th minute when reserve Pavel Nedved sent an 18-yard shot past a diving Howard. Solskjaer scored in the 79th minute with a low liner that eluded Chimenti.
Manchester United, which opens the Premier League season Aug. 16 at home against Bolton, was clearly the aggressor and played with a faster-paced offensive attack.
Juventus, which pulled most of its starters in the 64th minute, was more deliberate and precise with its approach.
Howard was only severely tested once during the first half, when Fabrizio Miccoli shot low from 12 yards, but Howard was able to make a kick save, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Juventus plays AC Milan on Sunday in the Italian Super Cup at Giants Stadium and opens its Italian League schedule at home against Empoli on Aug. 31.
AC Milan beat Juventus 3-2 on penalty kicks on May 28 after a scoreless tie at Old Trafford -- Manchester's home field -- to win the European Champions Cup.
Notes: Vittorio Chiusano, who worked for Juventus for more than 30
years and had served as chairman since 1990, died of heart failure
Thursday. He was 74.