2014 MLS Draft - Goalkeeper Edish

Feel free to check out my post on the expectation of last year's draftees.

With DC United sitting on Bill Hamid and Joe Willis, no one expected DC to have any interest in goalkeeper Andre Blake. Of all the problems they had last year, adding another goalkeeper to the mix wouldn't really help the situation. Most of us assumed Vancouver would end up with Blake at the third spot but after a stellar combine a bidding war broke out to get DC's first pick.

Philadelphia, with only Zac MacMath on the books as a goalkeeper, won the pick swap for an unnamed amount of money. Also Philly was only one spot below DC so I imagine that was a big reason why they made the trade.

(edit: Zolo Times had an interesting article on MacMath's situation after Blake was selected.)

Immediately panic swept over anyone who had a microphone. There were many speculations that MacMath's time in Philadelphia was done. I watched Alexi Lalas swap out MacMath for Blake in the Union's projected eleven. I heard Alejandro Moreno repeatedly speak of how bad of news this was for MacMath, who apparently was at the draft.

Here's the thing, Philadelphia has not managed goalkeepers well since ever. In their first year they started youngster Chris Seitz who was quickly painted a villain but has had some stellar performances when Fernandez was not available in Dallas. The next year Colombian Faryd Mondragon who, despite a badass last name, was a 38 year old splitting time with 18 year old Zac MacMath. If you have not been pleased with MacMath this last year as a 21 year old, you can imagine the gritting of teeth 2011 held. And for the last two years MacMath has played 66 of the 68 league games for Philadelphia. The USYNT product was not ready to start for an MLS squad but Philadelphia kept pushing him to be.

Now Blake is on the scene and most everyone is saying how "MLS-ready" he is. If the problem of the untrusted collegiate system producing a goalkeeper who is more prepared to start than a goaltender who is already three-quarters of the way to the century mark is not worrisome enough then let me add on some more. Blake is similar to Bill Hamid who, like MacMath, have yet to inspire confidence in their fans. All three are strong, explosive, but have the shadow of "they'll be great eventually" hang over these young goalkeepers. If Hamid and MacMath, who are facing tougher competition and getting better coaching are still struggling, how good should we expect Blake to be?

All that to say, Blake will not save Philadelphia. Yes I would start Blake over MacMath but that's more a distaste in Philadelphia goalkeeping management than how good Blake is. I know there are rumors of him leaving...

...but I'm not completely sold on it. I think Philly continues to back MacMath and he starts a majority of the season. However if we do see MacMath on the way out, we should all remember John Hackworth's confidence can be easily shaken.

Later, I quasi-called a team to draft the second goalkeeper, although I would not have guessed Berner.

Round three and four of the MLS draft are typically where the goalkeeper selections start picking up. The draft concludes on Tuesday the 21st so hopefully we'll see a few deserving keepers end up with MLS contracts then.

Day Two

Only two goalkeepers were selected in the final rounds and they selection was as mysterious as the goalkeepers are. Houston selected Michael Lisch from New Mexico and San Jose picked up Billy Knutsen from American. Both of these goalkeepers were largely unknown going into the draft. Houston already had three goalies on the bill but San Jose finally filled out their roster with Knutsen. Below are some highlights of Knutsen and of the handful of goals I could see from Lisch (New Mexico doesn't believe in making highlights of their games, aka "advertisement of their product") he looks very aggressive.

Lastly, this came out later but looks like DC United got a pretty penny for Blake.