TIME World Cup

Fans Want Tim Howard to Be Secretary of Defense

Soccer fans want to promote their new hero

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Tim Howard’s newfound stardom has made it all the way to the White House.

Fans of the Team USA goalkeeper started a White House petition Tuesday night to rename the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after Howard, and a second petitionwas created to name him Secretary of Defense.

After recording a World Cup-record 16 saves during an incredible 2-1 loss to Belgium on Tuesday, Howard quickly became something of an American hero.

“Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match,” the petition states. “Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.”

Anyone can post a petition on the White House website under its “We the People” initiative started in 2011. The Obama Administration says any petition that reaches 100,000 signatures will trigger a formal response. The petition to rename Reagan airport had more than 7,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon. It has until July 31 to get the necessary signatures for a response.

The second petition about Howard asks for him to receive a spot in the White House Cabinet.

“We, the undersigned, hereby petition for the appointment of Timothy Matthew “Tim” Howard, Goalkeeper and MVP of the USMNT, king of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, to the office of U.S. Secretary of Defense for acts of valor and general badassery during the 2014 World Cup,” it reads.

That petition had 430 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

When asked about the petition on Wednesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest joked that Howard would not be joining the Obama Administration in the near future. “I don’t have any personnel announcements to make,” Earnest said.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel jumped in late Wednesday afternoon when the Department of Defense tweeted a photo of him holding a soccer ball. The tweet said: “From 1 SecDef to another: Hagel calls to say thanks for defending USA. We (USA) are proud of !”

Late Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby released a statement saying that Hagel congratulated Howard “on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil.” The Secretary of Defense invited Howard and the entire U.S. men’s national soccer team to come to the Pentagon later this year. He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real Secretary of Defense.

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