Howard has taken a break from international football until the autumn of 2015.
He said on his Facebook page: "I have decided to take some time off from the U.S. Men's National Team in order to spend more time with my family.
"Having played overseas for the last 12 years, making this commitment to my family is very important. I am grateful for the understanding of Jurgen Klinsmann who is affording me the opportunity to spend some much needed time with my kids and to have the opportunity to compete for a spot upon my return.
"I understand that I will have to earn my place with the team and in the lineup when I come back, and I look forward to doing that.
"Physically I feel as strong as ever, and right now my heart, mind, and body all feel good about continuing on with the national team for the next World Cup.
"It is difficult to predict the situation in four years but I know this decision is right for me today."
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