The 29-year old Sporting Lisbon centre-half put in a commanding display at the heart of the USA's defense at Red Bull Arena and despite the loss, Everton goalkeeper Howard was very complimentary of the former Standard Liege, Newcastle United and AC Milan man.
"I was just impressed. Even in the game I was thinking: he's strong and he wins his headers and his timing is fantastic for a big guy," Howard said.
"His timing is really good. He got himself in good positions and you know I was happy with the way he pushed up, and then dropped his line.
"He really dictated the line, both he and Carlos [Bocanegra], but again also getting in passing lanes and making the right tackles.
"His anticipation tonight was fantastic. The amount of times that he dropped and the ball got played into the forward and he intercepted, it was really good. So his anticipation was really on the ball."