Top 100 American Goalkeepers (October 2014)

Cover photo belongs to Birmingham Mail

Before we get into our spotlight please circle October 2014 in your calendar as the time Brad Guzan officially overthrew Tim Howard as the number one goalkeeper for the US. There has been a small contingent that have already bumped Guzan to the top spot but you can't lose the starting spot off a couple of errors. Up and through the summer Howard had some shaky moments but he was still earning his keep. However in the seventeen goals over seven games against EPL opponents, Howard is starting to show signs of regression. He's relying more on reactions and paying less attention to mechanics. Phil Neville dogged him for his large spring which is close to addressing the problem but not quite. (For the record, Howard can't see the ball before it clears the wall so the time lost argument is invalid. Him "bouncing" isn't necessarily a bad thing, and not in this case.) Howard's stance has grown even wider since the summer, making lateral movement is occur less and less, if at all. On goal against Liverpool, his hands are weak and the ball rolls of his hand into the goal. Against Crystal Palace where Everton lost 3-2 (highlights here but link may not last long) he needlessly causes a penalty kick and later hands Crystal Palace their second goal by missing the cross entirely. The 6-3 loss to Chelsea he looked step behind nearly every goal and Howard gives up a pretty lazy near post goal against Swansea City to open Everton's short lived Capital One Cup run. Howard proponents are going to cite past heroics as to why Howard should remain as number one but the fact is he's 35 and is on the downswing of his career. Guzan, on the other hand, is in his prime. When did the switch between the two happen in skill? Right now. It'll take some time for the public to all agree though.

Bill Hamid is next up for this month's goalkeeper spotlight. He's on the tip of everyone's tongue when it comes to who's next for USMNT goalkeeping. Everyone expects him to be on the 2015 Gold Cup roster if not in goal come 2018. Amid all the hope, Hamid seemingly can't be described as anything else but "athletic" (57,000 results).

 CSN Washington

CSN Washington

There's no getting around Hamid's reflexes and leg strength. It's seems like every week Hamid is in the running for MLS's Save of the Week. He's explosive, he's quick, he makes the occasion "You have to be kidding me!" save. But he's had to work to get to where he is now. Early in his career Hamid was taking generous pre-shot jump sets and he's clearly worked to nix those. He's showing more patience in a play and getting all of his body to dive at the ball, not just his arms. But his decision-making and technique in tight, awkward situations is still erratic. For example, he's still using the starfish approach on 1v1s (see above). This technique leaves large gaps between the thigh and bicep and the ice hockey-familiar five-hole. Sometimes it works, like in his save against Henry...

...and sometimes it doesn't. In the same game he vies to go to the ground, instead staying on his feet, and gives up the game-winning goal. Notice how awkwardly his body collapses to the ground and how his right foot moves out of the way of where the ball ends up going.

Hamid's next step is learning to play the percentages better. He didn't do it against Los Angeles (dove unevenly), Real Salt Lake (hands too low), Houston (dives too high), and Colorado (????). His entire body needs to be in smart positions to cover the goal in the most efficient manner. Hamid's gotten this far and at almost twenty-four, he shows no signs of slowing down.

The top five have switched around more than just Guzan overstepping Howard. Steve Clark takes the number three spot and Brad Friedel falls from the top three since... 1993? Clark's been on fire with Columbus and despite the lack of USMNT call-ups, he's the best in MLS right now.

Lastly, a retroactive shoutout to Israeli American goalkeeper Tom Almadon. Almadon kept a shutout in the second leg in the second qualifying round of the Europa with his club Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv. Almadon was born in New York and although he has played up the ranks in Israel's youth system, he has yet to recieve a call up from Israel. So for that, we'll claim him until he's official cap-tied.

Top 100 American Goalkeepers

1. Brad Guzan (Aston Villa / England.1) - 77.8 (30.1)
2. Tim Howard (Everton FC / England.1) - 76.9 (35.6)
3. Steve Clark (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 71.5 (28.5)
4. Brad Friedel (Tottenham Hotspur / England.1) - 71.4 (43.4)
5. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake / USA.1) - 71.3 (35.3)
6. Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls / USA.1) - 69.7 (30.4)
7. Joseph Bendik (Toronto FC / USA.1) - 69 (25.5)
8. Brian Rowe (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 68.9 (25.9)
9. Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes / USA.1) - 68.7 (38.2)
10. Chris Seitz (FC Dallas / USA.1) - 68.6 (27.6)

11. William Yarbrough (Leon / Mexico.1) - 68.6 (25.6)
12. Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo / USA.1) - 68.5 (29.4)
13. Bill Hamid (DC United / USA.1) - 68.4 (23.9)
14. Matt Pickens (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 68.4 (32.5)
15. Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA / USA.1) - 68.3 (32.3)
15. Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact / USA.1) - 68.3 (33.3)
17. Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids / USA.1) - 68.2 (25.5)
18. David Bingham (Strommen IF / Norway.2) - 68.1 (25)
19. Joe Willis (DC United / USA.1) - 68.1 (26.2)
20. Andrew Weber (Portland Timbers / USA.1) - 68 (31.2)

21. Andy Gruenebaum (Sporting Kansas City / USA.1) - 67.9 (32.8)
22. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders / USA.1) - 67.9 (28.5)
23. Bobby Shuttleworth (New England Revolution / USA.1) - 67.9 (27.4)
24. Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union / USA.1) - 67.8 (23.2)
25. Brian Perk (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 67.8 (25.3)
26. Quentin Westberg (Free Agent / None) - 67.7 (28.5)
27. Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo / USA.1) - 67.7 (26.2)
28. Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake / USA.1) - 67.6 (26.1)
29. Evan Bush (Montreal Impact / USA.1) - 67.6 (28.6)
30. Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire / USA.1) - 67.6 (25.4)

31. Andrew Dykstra (DC United / USA.1) - 67.5 (28.8)
32. Ryan Meara (New York Red Bulls / USA.1) - 67.5 (23.9)
33. Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Gil Vicente FC / Portugal.1) - 67.4 (27.4)
34. Diego Restrepo (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 67.3 (26.7)
35. Tim Melia (MLS Pool Keeper / USA.1) - 67.2 (27.6)
36. Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City / USA.1) - 67.2 (31.3)
37. Alex Horwath (Ljungskile SK / Sweden.2) - 67.1 (27.6)
38. Kevin Piedrahita (Ɓguilas Doradas / Colombia.1) - 67 (23.3)
39. Brad Knighton (New England Revolution / USA.1) - 67 (29.7)
40. Marcus Hahnemann (Seattle Sounders / USA.1) - 66.9 (42.3)
40. David Yelldell (Bayern Leverkusen / Germany.1) - 66.9 (33.8)

42. Mitch Hildebrandt (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 66.9 (25.9)
43. Jimmy Maurer (New York Cosmos / USA.2) - 66.9 (27)
44. Matt Pyzdrowski (Angelholms FF / Sweden.2) - 66.8 (28.2)
45. Matt Van Oekel (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 66.8 (28.1)
46. Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City / USA.1) - 66.7 (21.5)
47. Joe Nasco (Colorado Rapids / USA.1) - 66.6 (30.3)
48. Alec Kann (Chicago Fire / USA.1) - 66.6 (24.2)
48. Brock Duckworth (Free Agent / None) - 66.6 (25.5)
50. Kyle Reynish (Chicago Fire / USA.1) - 66.4 (30.9)

51. Devala Gorrick (Ottawa Fury / USA.2) - 66.3 (27.3)
52. Akira Fitzgerald (Carolina Railhawks / USA.2) - 66.1 (27.3)
53. John McCarthy (Rochester Rhinos / USA.3) - 66.1 (22.3)
54. Evan Newton (Arizona United / USA.3) - 66 (26.5)
55. Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 66 (25.1)
56. Josh Ford (Seattle Sounders / USA.1) - 65.9 (26.9)
57. Chris Konopka (Toronto FC / USA.1) - 65.9 (29.5)
58. Cody Mizell (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 65.8 (23.1)
59. Ryan Taylor (Richmond Kickers / USA.3) - 65.7 (24.3)
60. Patrick McLain (Free Agent / None) - 65.7 (26.2)

61. Lance Parker (FC Edmonton / USA.2) - 65.7 (29.2)
62. Kyle Zobeck (New York Cosmos / USA.2) - 65.6 (24.7)
63. John Berner (Colorado Rapids / USA.1) - 65.5 (23.7)
64. Bryan Meredith (San Jose Earthquakes / USA.1) - 65.5 (25.2)
65. Kenneth Kronholm (Holstein Kiel / Germany.3) - 65.5 (29)
65. Jordan Jennings (Seattle Sounders / USA.1) - 65.5 (29.5)
67. Nick Shackelford (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 65.4 (24)
68. Austin Guerrero (Estudiantes de Altamira / Mexico.2) - 65.4 (25.6)
69. David Meves (Fort Lauderdale Strikers / USA.2) - 65.4 (25.3)
70. Justin Luthy (Portland Timbers / USA.1) - 65.2 (23.5)

71. Tom Almadon (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv / Israel.1) - 65.2 (29.9)
72. Andrew Fontein (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 65.1 (24.6)
73. Adam Grinwis (Michigan / USA.N) - 65.1 (22.5)
74. Scott Goodwin (Carolina Railhawks / USA.2) - 65 (23.9)
75. Hunter Gilstrap (Pittsburgh Riverhounds / USA.3) - 65 (31.5)
76. Brandon Miller (Rochester Rhinos / USA.3) - 65 (24.8)
77. Carl Woszczynski (Free Agent / None) - 65 (26.5)
78. Jon Dawson (Indy Eleven / USA.2) - 65 (23.6)
79. Patrick Wall (Notre Dame / USA.N) - 64.9 (23.1)
80. Josh Wicks (AFC United / Sweden.3) - 64.9 (30.9)

81. Dominik Jakubek (Sacramento Republic / USA.3) - 64.8 (35.1)
82. Sean Kelley (Free Agent / None) - 64.8 (26.5)
83. Brad Stuver (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 64.7 (23.5)
84. Nicolas Platter (Carolina Railhawks / USA.2) - 64.7 (32.9)
85. Cody Laurendi (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 64.6 (26.2)
86. Phil Saunders (Bolungarvik FC / Iceland.2) - 64.6 (23.1)
87. Trevor Spangenberg (Chivas USA / USA.1) - 64.6 (23.5)
88. Paul Rachubka (Oldham Athletic / England.3) - 64.5 (33.4)
88. Nick Noble (Harrisburg City Islanders / USA.3) - 64.5 (30.1)
88. Josh Saunders (New York City FC / USA.1) - 64.5 (33.6)

91. Carlos Rojas (CD Cruzl Azul / Mexico.1) - 64.5 (24.6)
92. Michael Abalos (Cal FC / USA.4) - 64.5 (24.9)
93. Patrick Lane (Karlstad BK / Sweden.2) - 64.4 (26.2)
94. Brian Holt (Free Agent / None) - 64.4 (25.9)
95. Cody Cropper (Southampton / England.1) - 64.4 (21.7)
96. Lionel Brown (Fort Lauderdale Strikers / USA.2) - 64.4 (27.1)
97. Gregory Blum (Pittsburgh Riverhounds / USA.3) - 64.2 (25.5)
98. Daniel Withrow (MLS Pool Keeper / USA.1) - 64 (24.4)
99. Matt Glaeser (Wilmington Hammerheads / USA.3) - 64 (29.5)
100. Scott Angevine (Vasa IFK / Finland.3) - 64 (25.4)

Some quick stats on the list:

Most popular ages

25 y.o. - 15
23 - 13
26 - 11
27 - 9
24 - 9

Most popular countries

USA - 74
England - 5
Sweden - 4
Mexico - 3
Germany - 2

Don't forget to check last week's goalkeeper action in Everybody Soccered (Week 39) and the 2015 American Goalkeeper Destination list. Over the next six months we should see a big shuffle in American goalkeeping.