'This Week' Game Changer: Tim Howard

ABC News' Paula Faris speaks with Team USA goalkeeper Tim Howard, who energized Americans and brought new fans to soccer with his star turn in the World Cup.
6:59 | 12/28/14

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Transcript for 'This Week' Game Changer: Tim Howard
My game changer is the ray rice elevator video. It was September 8th and it started a national conversation on such an important topic not only in the national football league but throughout our country. My game changer I hope is that the awful story about domestic violence and sexual assaults on campus have brought attention to those crimes, and that's what they are, and maybe some attention will be paid to fix it. We're back now with the game changers of 2014. Wait as a tough year for football with more evidence that con conduction were taking a serious and permanent toll on the game and some graphic incidents of domestic violence that cast a shadow over the season. For the sports that the rest of the world calls football, 2014 may have been America's best year. Goalie Tim Howard was the biggest reason. "Gma" weekend anchor Paula Faris has his story. Reporter: It may be the most popular and lucrative sport in the United States, but football's biggest hits lately have been off the field. Crises at every level. The scandal widening this evening -- Scandal rocks the NFL. It took the video to make everyone aware of just how awful it was. Reporter: From the NFL all the way to high school. The hazing scandal. Reporter: Yet the other football, we're talking soccer, and its popularity, growing faster than any other American sport, fueled in part by the success of the U.S. Men's national team and their performance at the world cup led by their fearless goalkeeper. Tim Howard again! Reporter: The game captured every corner of America as the U.S. Entered uncharted waters, never before making it this far in back-to-back world cups. If there was a highlight reel of Brazil, one moment, what was it? It would have been the Clinton score against Ghana. Reporter: Just 29 seconds into the first game, the team's captain, Clinton Dempsey, making history. It's the earliest usa goal ever in world cup history. Reporter: And igniting a legion of American pandemonium. For me that started the ride. Reporter: That ride anchored by Tim Howard, named this year's U.S. Soccer male athlete of the year. Your epic performance, 16 saves, a world cup record. What's going through your mind during that game? Nothing. Everything is the same, you know. Slows down a little bit. It's all in good rhythm. I wish I could do it every week and save more balls every week. Reporter: Americans became obsessed with their new hero, the tattoos, that beard. After all those saves, 1.8 million mentions on Twitter, even a call from the president. I just wanted to call and say you guys did us proud. Thank you very much. How nervous were you before the phone call? He seemed like all Americans to be genuinely enthralled and immersed in the passion and drama of soccer and the world cup. I think so many people were just so inspired by your performance in that last game, even though the U.S. Team lost. All the memes that were coming out, hundreds of them. There was the brick wall, the secretary of defense. What were some of your favorites? Probably where I was catching scooby do. Because I'm a fan from back when. There was actually a hashtag. Hashtag things Tim could save. One was Bambi. Could you save Bambi? I would try my best. Reporter: There's no need for Howard to save soccer here in America. The national team giving a boost to an already surging youth interest. This isn't a passing fad. This is something that millions of Americans are buying into and it's continuing to grow. Tim Howard was the ultimate role model in a year that needed that. There are a bunch of kids from your native New Jersey that dressed up as Tim Howard for Halloween. I saw that, yeah. Obviously the beard gave it away. Yeah, yeah. Soccer Jersey and the beard. You're like a role model, an international sensation but the beard is part of it. What did you think of that? I thought it was cool. I hope they don't get attached because it's going to eventually go. It is? When? I don't know. I never know. Reporter: That beard now part of a valuable image. The world cup and Tim's performance of the world cup has driven the popularity of soccer. It's now a great marketing platform for brands in America. In terms of advertisers, how many now? I'm sure you're courting quite a few after that performance. I've always tried to pick and choose my sponsors. It's never been just about money. I think you want to associate -- you should anyway, associate yourself with good companies who do positive things I think in the community, who match what you're all about, you know. I've been able to do that, thankfully. You've left a lot of money on the table? Absolutely. It can't rule my life. Reporter: He's opened up about hour surveillance -- surreal this newfound stardom has been in his new memoir, the keeper. You gave an interview one time and said I'm blessed to be living a dream. Yet if it all went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. How do you have that peace? Through my faith, through my relationship with Jesus Christ. Soccer is awesome, it's a gift, but it's also a job. I think people soon forget that. To be out there every day and to stay relatively injury-free is a blessing. One day that will come to an end. Whether that's today or four years from now, I'll have peace with it. All the ladies will want to know, are you single? Yes, very much single. What are you looking for in a significant other? Right now I'm probably not. I'm focused on work. That's been my undying passion for me. My children, those are my priorities. Reporter: Also down the road, the next world cup, 2018 in Russia. How do you think you'll be different in four years when the next world cup comes? I'll be older. My muscles will be much more unforgiving. You'll be 40. Oh, my god, I know. Sorry. That's okay. If all goes well and I have my say in it, it will be the end for me and I'll be looking for to what comes next. This group in 2014 inspired me to want to go to 2018 because the group was just amazing. The ride that we went on was incredible and I want to be a part of that again. So the goal is 2018 world cup and then ride off into the sunset? That's it. Then hit the beach for a long time. A really long time. A long time. Reporter: For this week, I'm

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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