Hagel calls Tim Howard: Thanks for defending US

Casper Manlangit /Department of Defense

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard to thank him for defending the United States at the World Cup on Tuesday, according to a Pentagon statement Wednesday. 

The U.S. exited the tournament Tuesday after Belgium defeated the U.S. men's national team 2-1.

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"Secretary Hagel congratulated Howard on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil," said the statement by Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. 

The statement follows an incident where someone changed a Wikipedia entry to reflect Howard as U.S. Defense secretary, following his notable performance Wednesday against Belgium. 

Hagel invited Howard and the entire team to visit the Pentagon later this year. 

"He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense," Kirby said.