In the spirit of the World Cup, video game company Activision has released a soccer-themed character for its popular Skylanders franchise. Kickoff Countdown, released through Toys-R-Us on May 18, is the newest member of the Swap Force team. Kickoff Countdown joins other characters like Blast Zone and Wash Buckler in the fight against the evil portal master Kaos. Tim Howard, the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. national team, talked to ThePostGame about playing Skylanders Swap Force with two of his biggest fans: His kids.

***

ThePostGame: What are your opinions and thoughts about the new Skylanders Swap Force character Kickoff Countdown?

TIM HOWARD: I love it. I think my kids love it more than I do which is kind of cool. I like to play their favorite characters and the fact it relates to my job as a soccer player I think that all ties in. I don't have much down time, but when I do I like to swap forces with them.

TPG: Who is your favorite character to play with?

HOWARD: You know I don't actually make my characters. I have a little boy and little girl, 7 and 8, so I don't get much say in the matter, I just kind of play with whoever gets picked for me.

TPG: Would you say there is a character that best represents you?

HOWARD: I'm not sure. I am a bit quirky so I don't know if there is one in particular.

TPG: How important is it to you that you are able to spend time with your kids playing Skylanders Swap Force?

HOWARD: With all my traveling, I don’t get much down time as I mentioned, especially this year, particularly being away on Father’s Day, it's all of those little things that I miss. It’s time that we can spend together, its time when we can have fun together. When you are a parent and your kids are having fun, which they do when they play Skylanders. It just makes you smile and you enjoy it more.

TPG: Who are the better gamers: You or your kids?

HOWARD: That's easy, my kids, 1,000 percent. My son, Jacob, tells me how to play the games so I just learn from watching him. They are much better than I am.

Like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

1939 Dodge Still Runs -- As A Grill