Goalkeeper Tim Howard saves his place in American -- and meme -- folklore

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard had a phenomenal World Cup, including a record-setting 16-save performance against Belgium Tuesday. And despite the Americans losing 2-1 after extra time, Howard has blown up the Internet.

It all started when someone edited the Wikipedia entry for the United States Secretary of Defense, replacing Chuck Hagel with Howard.

Then on the White House's petition website We The People, someone started a petition to rename Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for Tim Howard.

Howard's Internet journey also hit Twitter, where Photoshopped images of the goalkeeper appeared as:

And what's an Internet meme without hashtags? #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave included:

Howard himself even got in the fun, tweeting a photo of a fan getting Howard's face as a haircut. USA Today dubbed the haircut "the most patriotic thing you'll see all day."

On Wednesday morning, a hoarse Howard told HLN's Robin Meade his thoughts on his Internet fame.

"I've heard different things. I've only just gotten up, but some of it is quite amazing. I take it all in stride. It's funny. It's part of the job." "When you wake up to good things, it's nice."

Yahoo pointed out the match versus Belgium was likely Howard's last World Cup game. He turned 35 years old in March.

Howard told ESPN back in April: "I'll be on a beach somewhere when I'm 40. I would pretty much take that to the bank that I won't be playing past 40. There are other things I want to achieve in life, other things that I want to do."

Well Tim, you'll only be 39 when the 2018 World Cup rolls around, so if you decide to return for one more cup, we're sure the Internet would love it.

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