(CNN) -

The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot these days, but there's no other way to describe what we saw Tuesday.

It was an epic battle. Team USA goalie Tim Howard on one hand. The entire Belgian team on the other.

Facing the relentless onslaught of Belgium's offense, Howard made 16 saves -- setting a World Cup record.

The United States lost the match 2-1 and is out of the tourney, but the nation gained a soccer hero.

Here's what you need to know about the 35-year-old Howard:

He's a devout Christian

Faith is a key part of Howard's life and shapes who he is.

"The most important thing in my life is Christ," Howard said in a 2006 interview with Campus Crusade for Christ. "He's more important to me than winning or losing or whether I'm playing or not. Everything else is just a bonus."

He was born in North Brunswick, New Jersey, to an African-American father and a Hungarian mother.

He is all tatted up

Howard loves his body art.

You want ink, you got it -- chest, abs, biceps, back.

His kids are there on his left pec. Jesus is on the left biceps. You'll find his home state of New Jersey on his belly.

There's a dove, too. A star. Some Roman numerals. The more you look, the more you find.

He is anti-fur

Howard bared his well-sculpted upper body for PETA's "Ink, not mink" campaign.

The pitch? "Fur only looks good on its original owner. Be comfortable in your own skin, and let animals keep theirs."

He lives with Tourette's syndrome

For Howard, it's not a big deal -- just part of his life. But it does come with some misconceptions.

"It's something that I live with every day. For me now in my life, it's like breathing for me. If I woke up and didn't have Tourette's syndrome, it would feel weird -- not better or worse, just different. So I'm very happy and comfortable with it," he said.

Many know it only as the "swearing disease," but only about 10% of people with Tourette's syndrome swear uncontrollably.

"You know, we don't all curse," Howard told Yahoo Sports a couple of weeks ago. "I do on the field, unfortunately, to get my point across, but it's not because of my condition."

People with Tourette's syndrome suffer from involuntary tics, which can be either verbal or physical. Physical tics may include jumping or twitching. People with the syndrome describe a tic as being like a sneeze, impossible to hold in without extreme discomfort.

He once scored a goal

How many goalkeepers can claim this feat?

While playing for Everton, his English Premier League team, Howard booted a ball the length of the pitch, catching the Bolton goalie by surprise.

The crowd and his teammates went nuts, but Howard told The Guardian he felt bad for the opposing keeper.

"You never want to see that happen," he said. "It's not nice, it's embarrassing."

He wasn't really that good when he started out

When Howard began his pro career as a 22-year-old goalkeeper for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars of MLS, he was known as a great athlete who could make great saves. Some reports have even said he could have played basketball in college.