November 25th Update
Really late on this but the USWNT not only qualified for the 2015 World Cup but they didn't allow a single goal in qualifying through five games. Hope Solo faced only two shots shots on goal in the four games she started. Ashlyn Harris started the last group game and also kept a clean sheet although only faced one shot in the game. In the group stage, Trinidad and Tobago's goalkeeper Kimika Forbes had a great game against the US and kept the US to only one goal.
More USYNT action occurred last week. The U16s lost 3-0 to France with Eric Lopez in goal. The Kevin Silva and Will Pulisic split time with the U17s, who recently went 0-2-1 with a rough loss to Brazil (4-3) and then ties against Qatar and Chile. Both Lopez and Silva weren't at their best in these games. Lopez was caught moving forward too much on a 1v1 and was set too low on a shot inside the 18. Silva struggled with crosses and got caught on a long chip after a long ball slipped through the defense. Pulisic, on the other hand, didn't have a lot to do against Qatar.
MLS is in their last round of Save of the Year candidates. Vote here. Feel free to pick any of the non-Ricketts saves as I don't know how that one finished in the final four.
Heart of the Dawg had a great slow motion video of the University of Washington's first win in the NCAA tournament, including Spencer Richey's final save.
November 23rd Update
I wrote a long piece on the 25th anniversary of the US topping Trinidad and Tobago, bringing them back to the World Cup for the first time in 40 years. I tried to include as many forgotten details on the game. Scott French had a good interview with Paul Caligiuri on the goal.
Tim Howard was selected as the 2014 USMNT athlete of the year, mainly because of his performance against Belgium in the World Cup. This is Howard's second time to win the award. He first won in 2008.
Bill Hamid went the distance in a 4-1 loss against Ireland.
The U20s went 2-1 this month. Ethan Horvath was in goal for the 4-3 win over Russia and Santiago Castaño started the other two games (1-0 win over Ireland and a 1-0 loss against Canada). Neither goalkeeper stood out as Horvath wasn't sharp against Russia and the goal Castaño conceded against Ireland was the worst of the bunch.
FC Dallas selected Dan Kennedy in the Chivas dispersal draft. That now gives Dallas three starting goalkeepers. Steve Hunt predicted that it would be Chris Seitz on the way out and it's hard to disagree with him. Personally, I think Seitz not only is the best of the three but the only one which isn't on the downswing of his career. Unfortunately for Seitz, he's not as iconic as the other two. Dallas could try to deal Kennedy for some allocation money or another player but the media isn't acting like that's something in the works.
Senior goalkeeper Adam Grinwis's season was cut short with Michigan not qualifying for the national tournament. The Michigan Daily reports that he's looking at playing for the next level.
The NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge is going strong. John Harkes was kind enough to submit although he was the first person to lose their championship pick, with Wake Forest going down in penalty kicks.
BYU TV made a classic slapstick video about a goalkeeper repeatedly getting hit in the face with the ball.
November 17th Update
The USMNT fell 2-1 to Colombia on Friday. Brad Guzan was in goal for both goals against Colombia and didn't have any saves that qualify as "savazos". The first goal was a bit controversial as it was not awarded offside.
Guzan is put in an unfortunate position as he has to step to the offside man in case he is not called offside but plays the ball. If he puts the ball on frame, and the linesman's flag stays down, Guzan cannot afford to be so far from the ball in that situation. So he must step forward. But the striker dummies for his slashing teammate who has now caught Guzan out of position. The play should be counted offside as Guzan is affected by the player in the offside position but there is some debate about the letter of the law.
Guzan was a little slow on the second goal but the roofed header is a tough shot to stop.
As the US is getting ready to face Ireland on Monday, the the US tweeted some fun photos of Bill Hamid and Guzan in goal.
The Chivas draft order was announced last week and all eyes are on FC Dallas with the number one pick. Dan Kennedy, Chivas' starter this past year, is expected to go high but I don't think it'll be with Dallas. They're already sitting pretty with Chris Seitz and Raul Fernandez. An aging (and expensive!) goalkeeper is not going to help them and I don't think signing-then-trading him will work out in the long run. If Kennedy fell to NYCFC at the second pick, I think it's a given they select him. However, it should be noted Kennedy was dead last in expected goals allowed at American Soccer Analysis.
The most notable collegiate goalkeeping performance from the conference tournaments has to be Chris Glodack. Glodack came through in the clutch in Clemson's first two games by coming off the bench solely for the penalties after neither team could break the deadlock in overtime. Of the twelve penalties he faced, he amazingly saved six (3/5 vs Wake Forest, 3/7 v Notre Dame) and helped Clemson move on to the next round each time. Glodack utilized a patient technique that I wanted to take a closer look at.
Here's the final save against Wake Forest. Notice how Glodack hasn't left the center of the frame as the ball is struck. In the third frame you can see how his full extension almost reaches the post. (You can see the rest of his saves against Wake Forest here.)
In comparison, Notre Dame's Pat Wall employed the spaghetti-legs technique. Typically this is done to distract the shooters. More specifically, watch how early Wall leaves the center. (Watch Clemson's winning save and score here.)
Wall is a fine goalkeeper and what he does is not uncommon. Several goalkeepers are already going one way as the ball is struck. The difference for Glodack is that his frame and explosiveness allow him to wait just a split second longer to read the shot yet still cover the goalmouth all the way to the post. Either way, he went 6/12 so clearly something is working.
Ted dug up an interview with Marcus Hahnemann where he spoke in favor of relegation.
Santiago Castaño kept a shutout against Ireland's U20s. No highlights available yet.
In the graphic design department, we have an old Shep Messing chewing tobacco ad and a wonderful cool-guys-walk-away-from-explosions should-be poster from Aaron Brown
November 12th Update
The US roster was released on Monday for the matches against Colombia and Ireland. Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Bill Hamid, and Sean Johnson all made the cut. Here's a vine of the four in practice.
Tom McCabe found Jimmy Douglas' passport photo from ancestry.com. Douglas was an American goalkeeper who recorded the first World Cup shutout in 1930. McCabe goes on to point out that Douglas' grandfather, James Douglas, played in the first American Cup, which was eventually replaced with the modern US Open Cup. Both Douglases were goalkeepers, oddly enough.
Speaking of US Open Cup, Josh reminded us that the first time the recently playoff paired teams FC Dallas and Seattle met in the Open Cup was in 1996, 18 years ago, and Marcus Hahnemann was in net. Hahnemann is currently 42 years old and on Seattle's roster.
The U20s topped Russia today 4-3. Ethan Horvath was given the start. No highlights yet but apparently he made a save on a penalty kick. It was Horvath's first appearance with the U20s.
ESPN had some quotes from Brad Friedel about Americans playing abroad versus staying in MLS.
The University of Washington is releasing a documentary on their men's soccer team. They took a close look at the goalkeepers Spencer Richey and Ryan Herman around the 13 minute mark. Richey talks about his injury and the coach discusses how he handles the two more than capable goalkeepers. They also really enjoy using slow motion.
November 10th Update
Tim Howard has recorded 150 clean sheets in all European competitions.
The U20s are bringing along Ethan Horvath on their trip to Spain. Hopefully this is a time for Horvath to move up the pecking order as it appears he's sitting at number three, behind Santiago Castaño and Zack Steffen.
November 6th Update
Aleks Gogic, a twenty year old with Redding, "was recently part of a US film documentary that will be released in the coming months, featuring the likes of Tim Howard et al."
Phil Saunders is keeping sharp with the Baltimore Blast this winter.
Markus Dickerson feels confident he'll represent the US one day. "I must one day represent my country. It's part of my dream so I will achieve it."
Three goalkeepers have been given trials with Mexican clubs through the Sueño Program.
Everybody Soccer has taken a bit of a back burner. I had three interviews over the past month that were published on the supreme Soccer Over There and the terrific Top Drawer Soccer. I talked with French-American goalkeeper Quentin Westberg about his club Luzenac earning promotion then getting outright disbanded. Next there was Pat McLain's bizarre situation with Chivas USA. If you're wondering about behind the scenes at Chivas, McLain has a lot to say. Finally, Coppell (Texas) High School coach Chad Rakestraw's weighed in on the popular developmental academy versus high school debate. Some content was cut for TDS so the rest of the interview can be found here but TDS got all the major talking points.
Taking Westberg's lead, multiple goalies are on the move upward in their Norwegian leagues.
Alex Horwath and Ljungskile are very close to getting promoted to Allsvenskan, the first division in Sweden. Ljungskile finished third in the Superettan this year (only giving up 25 goals in 30 games) and have a home-and-home series with Gefle FK on November 6th and 9th. Fun fact: Ljungskile has a population of 4,000.
Matt Pzydrowski and Ängelholm finished 12th in the same second division that Ljungskile is trying to leave. Pzydrowski captained the team about half the season and while didn't have a hot start (23 goals in 8 games), he finished strong by only allowing 22 goals in the last 20 games he played.
Josh Wicks bumped AFC United to the Superettan. Wicks captained the club for most of the season and posted an even 1.00 GAA. If Ljungskile doesn't promote to the first division, we'll be set to have three American goalkeepers in the Superettan.
Zac Lubin and IFK Luleå went 7-10-9 (W-T-L) to land in tenth place. Lubin sat the first six games but played the final nineteen.
Patrick Lane and Karlstad BK finished eight in one of Sweden's six fourth divisions. Lane played most of Karlstad's season and allowed 34 goals in 20 games.
Phil Saunders helped BI / Bolungarvik complete their escape from relegation and stay in Iceland's second division, 1. deild karla. BI was giving up 2.3 goals before Saunders joined and after it dropped to 1.8. As Soccer Viza wrote in their interview with him, "the club was impressed enough by his performance that they offered an extension through the end of 2015 to be their number one option in goal."
David Bingham finished with 16 goals against in the 8 games he appeared for Strømmen IF. Bingham's future is just as unclear as his successor Jon Busch's future. Will he finally take over for Busch in 2015 or will he go on loan again?
Scott Angevine and Vasa IFK were a game away from getting promoted in Finland. They lost in the promotion playoffs but still ended the season with a 17-5-5 league record. Here are the highlights of your new favorite American goalkeeper who played in Finland last year:
And lastly, Nathan Stockie played backup for JIPPO's season that ended in relegation to the third division.
MLS playoffs are under way but more importantly the voting for MLS Save of the Year is up and running. All of the week's best saves are pitted against each other in one big savazo tournament. But one save that won't make the cut is Stefan Frei's fantastic playoff save versus FC Dallas this last weekend.
Eric Lopez is the youngest goalkeeper to sign an MLS homegrown contract. LAG has a number of good goalkeepers on their roster so I can't imagine Lopez getting more than a handful of games his first years. To put some perspective on hyped young goalkeepers, Hararea went back through the last eight U20 USYNT goalkeepers and outlined how even the ones who were successful didn't find it until well into their 20s.
In early October the U17s went 3-0 in Panama. They'll be playing again at the popular Nike Friendlies in late November, they same tournament that the U17s bossed Brazil into literally not playing soccer anymore. Kevin Silva and Will Pulisic split the responsibilities of protecting the net.
Back when Landon was having his testimony match, Kasey Keller was asked what his favorite Donovan moment and he said it was him setting the shutout record. Tim Howard also weighed in:
Yet another young American goalkeeper is making a name for himself overseas. Eighteen year old Bryce Billington is on Aberdeen FC's U20 squad.