Everybody Soccered - December 2014

cover photo taken from PremierLeague.com, uncredited

December 29th

Quentin Westberg is still without a club. He spoke with Tanguy Le Seviller about his situation. Nothing new except that he confirms he is in contact with various clubs, including some interest from MLS.

The U20 USYNT announced their 35 man preliminary roster. The final 20 man roster is released Friday the 2nd. Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (University of Maryland, SC Freiburg) are the three goalkeepers but only two will be going through qualifying. Steffen is the current lock and starter for the U20s but the backup spot is currently a toss up between the other two. Santiago Castaño, who recently sided with Colombia, would have most likely been the backup but now the spot is open. The US opens the tournament on January 9th against Guatemala.

The Hermann Award was announced January 10th last year so expect to see a similar announcement in a couple weeks. Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono is down to the final three. There was some speculation that he'd be offer a Generation Adidas contract but as of now he has not been offered and is expecting to stay for his senior year. Collegiate peer Spencer Richey was added as the fifth goalkeeper in the upcoming MLS Combine. The Combine runs January 8-13th.

Tim Howard is eyeing the 2018 World Cup. The question is, will he be content with not starting?

Sporting Kansas City has solidified their three goalkeepers. Jon Kempin is expected to be the number two behind 31 year old Chilean Luis Marin. Tim Melia should be the third string goalkeeper.


December 22nd

I spoke with four collegiate goalkeepers about their time in college and their attempt to make the jump to professional ranks. One of the goalkeepers, Senior Adam Grinwis, has released his highlights.

Some think Alex Bono will land a Generation Adidas contract and be drafted this January. I'd say it's a 50-50 chance he returns for his senior year. Also Chicago homegrown possible signee, Tyler Miller, was sighted at the Philadelphia Union college tryout.

Devin Cook-Perales is the first collegiate signing. He follows the Austin Aztex up from the PDL to USL Pro and foregoes his senior year at Coastal Carolina.

On the MLS front, Donovan Ricketts was selected by Orlando City in the expansion draft. Paul Tenorio wrote that Portland is eating some of Ricketts' contract to have him leave. Ryan Meara is going on loan to New York City, likely being the starter for their inaugural season then heading back to crosstown rival New York Red Bulls the next. Sporting Kansas City is looking at adding two goalkeepers and neither are from MLS. 31 year old Chilean keeper has been rumored to be one of the two. Check out the MLS Goalkeeper Destination for a more detailed recap on all American clubs.

The USWNT came in second in the 2014 Torneio Internacional de Brasília de Futebol Feminino. Hope Solo struggled with low shots in the last game of the group stage, a 3-2 loss. The final, which featured the two nations again, ended in a 0-0 tie. Solo had a few nice punches but that was it on her end.

Brad Friedel and Tim Howard have settled their dispute. In even more positive news, Tim Howard was the top searched meme for 2014. As for Brad Friedel, he started his own website and will be on Fox Soccer, implying his retirement after this EPL season.

The U20s went 2-0 against Honduras. Zack Steffen was in net for both the first and second game. Fellow U20 goalkeeper Santiago Castaño reported for Colombia's camp over the US. This is not necessarily a huge loss as it doesn't officially tie him to Colombia.

After a year completely off the radar, Creighton transfer and Virginia alum Jeff Gal has signed with Lidköpings FK, a fourth division club in Sweden.

Matt Pyzdrowski is reportedly on the move from Sweden. Pyzdrowski recently wrote on De Gea and his stellar save against Balotelli.


December 11th

What didn't happened in the past week?? Zac MacMath was rumored to go to SKC, then he didn't go nor was picked up in the expansion draft. Instead, Portland lost one of their four goalkeepers, Donovan Ricketts, to Orlando, where he'll serve as the starter until Tally Hall is 100%. Ryan Meara was linked with OCSC, then with NYCFC but both fell through. After it seemed like Meara was going to stay with the Red Bulls, they loan him to new rival for 2015.

Joe Willis was sent to Houston and will give Tyler Deric a run for his money. David Bingham was given a new contract and the starting spot in San Jose. Joe Nasco was traded to New England then not given a contract extension, effectively being dropped seconds after he was a Revolutionary man. 

For more information on the MLS goalkeeper dance, head over to the more in-depth 2015 American Goalkeeper Destination.

Maryland goalkeeper and USYNT darling Zack Steffen is foregoing his final two years at Maryland to try his hand in Germany. Freiburg is looking to sign Steffen but nothing official has come out yet. MLS goalkeeper hoarder Philadelphia Union will be upset their academy alum is now not available for a homegrown contract.

Tim Howard's book landed this week. Get it for an American $17.76 at Amazon. Related, Brad Friedel still claims his innocence in the drama Howard outlines in his book.

Four goalkeepers were invited to the MLS's 2015 combine. UCLA's Earl Edwards, Penn State's Andrew Wolverton, Georgetown's Tomas Gomez, and Northwestern's Tyler Miller. The combine is fairly well publicized so we should get some good video on the four goalkeepers.


December 5th

Bill Hamid edged Nick Rimando out in the Goalkeeper of the Year award. (Only the players disagreed with the media and coaches as to who was a tougher goalie to score on.) It's unfortunate that Rimando hasn't won the award in his career, especially considering the winners these last three years. However he was kind enough to compliment Hamid on the award. Steve Clark also finished third in the voting. In NASL, Jimmy Maurer ended up with the award which is fitting as other top goalkeepers split most of the season with a close backup.

Luis Robles nabbed an award of his own with his stellar double save. Robles gets down and up and down to keep the ball out of the net and claim the 2014 MLS Save of the Year Award.

Tim Howard released an excerpt from his book (available December 9th). In the excerpt, he was very critical of Brad Friedel, who Howard claims actively tried to stop Howard from landing the gig in Manchester. Friedel, in response, asked for an apology claiming it wasn't true.

I assume he’s been lied to all these years. Or perhaps he was getting pressure from the publisher to put something controversial in the book.
— Brad Friedel, ESPN

Friedel seems to have a decent case on his side and it's entirely true that Howard could have been misled by the same team that handled him poorly in the short time he was there. Friedel has also been very supportive of Howard in the past so it's a little out of character that he would do this. On the other side of things, Howard himself has come under fire. FourFourTwo released an article yesterday that Howard "may not be the best option" for Everton.

Howard also released a second excerpt, speaking briefly on Donovan not making the team. 

True to his nature, Brad Guzan quietly had a great November. He conceded four goals in five games (1-3-1 W-T-L) for Aston Villa. His performances have been exceptionally valued considering the club has scored just eight goals in fourteen games, a league low. Aston Villa is sitting 12th despite scoring a third of the amount of goals as Everton, who is ahead of Aston Villa by two points in the table. Don't be surprised to see if Guzan earns the club's MVP award at the end of the season.

Marcus Hahnemann retired at the ripe old age of 42 years old.

Officially retired again for 4 th time. Hanging in a #treehouse

A photo posted by Marcus Hahnemann (@hahnemann1) on

Look for a memorial post on Hahnemann later in the month.

The U17s had a rosy start to their annual Nike Friendlies tournament but finished with a 4-1 loss to Brazil in the final game that determined the winner. The US did top Australia 2-1 and England 3-1, which we can all admit we enjoy beating England. Kevin Silva started against Brazil and England while Will Pulisic picked up the game in the middle against Australia.

West Coast Goalkeeping is claiming that Alex Horwath was named the top goalkeeper of the Superettan. I can't find an article confirming this but they might just be ahead of the news.

The NCAA tourney is down to its final eight schools. UMBC hosts Creighton on Friday while Saturday features UNC at UCLA, Providence at Michigan State and Georgetown at Virginia. (All game times can be found here.). In the Bracket Challenge, @liviubird and @ENBSports are fighting for the rightful claim of the Everybody Soccer shirt.

Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono represents the goalkeeper position in the Hermann Trophy semifinalist list. Bono is attempting to join Brad Friedel and Tony Meola as one of the few goalkeepers to earn the award. Syracuse lost in overtime to Georgetown in the round of 16 from a golden goal. Bono talks a little bit about the award here.

Matt Reis talked about the difficulty in once playing for New England and not having to coach against them. Although out of fairness he's a goalkeeper coach so it could be worse. Bobby Shuttleworth shared what it was like sitting behind Reis and going forward into the MLS Final on Sunday.

The upcoming MLS expansion is making room for more goalkeepers so obviously we're pretty excited about the next couple months. There are a lot of players moving around but some teams are looking at different starters than they had last year.

FC Dallas - Signed Dan Kennedy in the Chivas dispersal draft and didn't re-sign Raul Fernandez, last year's starter. Chris Seitz is expected to be the backup.

Sporting KC - Released both Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum and only have Jon Kempin on roster. Vermes isn't handing over the keys just yet but Kempin will get a fair look. If they do bring in a different starter, it should only be for a year.

Orlando City SC / Houston Dynamo - OCSC traded for an ACL tear-recovering Tally Hall. Houston is going forward with Tyler Deric.

Portland Timbers - Rumors of Ghanaian national teamer Adam Kwarasey heading out west. Would indicate a big shake up is on the horizon. 

Montreal Impact - Not a huge shocker but Perkins was let go. Evan Bush is the expected number one man in the great northeast.

Philadelphia Union - Nothing official yet but surely Zac MacMath is on the way out with Andre Blake and recently acquired Raïs M'Bolhi.

Read a more in-depth, team-by-team on the shuffle here

Several MLS goalkeepers are without a contract as 2014 folds. Some a renegotiating, some are on their way out. Here's a look at the top free agents in the country, American or not.

Raul Fernandez (Peruvian) - Option not picked up by FC Dallas
Jon Busch - Out of contract with San Jose
Andy Gruenebaum - Option not picked up by Sporting Kansas City
Troy Perkins - Option not picked up by Montreal Impact
Quentin Westberg - French club team Luzenac folded earlier in the year
Tim Melia - Outgoing MLS Pool Keeper
Eric Kronberg - Option not picked up by Sporting Kansas City
Brock Duckworth - Charlotte Eagles not returning to USL Pro next year
Joe Nasco - Option not picked up by Colorado Rapids
Evan Newton - Not currently on Arizona United's roster
Josh Ford - Option not picked up by Seattle
Patrick McLain - Without team since mid-season
Jordan Jennings - Not on Seattle's roster
Jon Dawson - Option not picked up by Indy Eleven
Sean Kelley - Released from Orlando City SC
Trevor Spangenberg - Chivas USA not returning to MLS next year
Brian Holt - Released by Philadelphia Union mid-season
Doug Herrick (Guamanian) - Charlotte Eagles not returning to USL Pro next year

Patrick McLain, who I interviewed last month, is trailing over in Sweden. Evan Newton is also venturing abroad in Germany.

I was going to do the top 100 American Goalkeepers publication but the list was almost identical to October's so it doesn't get its own post. Biggest jumps up the ladder were Scott Angevine (+25) and Stefan Frei (+12). Both have put in a lot of work and have really progressed from where they were six months ago.

Still, here's the list in case you are voting for ASN's top 100 player list:

1. Brad Guzan (Aston Villa / England.1) - 77.1 (31.8)
2. Tim Howard (Everton FC / England.1) - 76.7 (35.8)
3. Steve Clark (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 71.5 (28.7)
4. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake / USA.1) - 70.8 (35.5)
5. Brad Friedel (Tottenham Hotspur / England.1) - 70.6 (43.6)
6. Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls / USA.1) - 69.7 (30.6)
7. Joseph Bendik (Toronto FC / USA.1) - 69.2 (25.7)
8. Brian Rowe (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 69 (26.1)
9. William Yarbrough (Leon / Mexico.1) - 68.8 (25.8)
10. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders / USA.1) - 68.7 (28.7)

11. Bill Hamid (DC United / USA.1) - 68.7 (24.1)
12. Chris Seitz (FC Dallas / USA.1) - 68.6 (27.8)
13. Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo / USA.1) - 68.5 (29.6)
14. Matt Pickens (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 68.4 (32.7)
15. Jon Busch (Free Agent / None) - 68.4 (38.3)
16. Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids / USA.1) - 68.3 (25.7)
17. Dan Kennedy (FC Dallas / USA.1) - 68.3 (32.4)
18. Joe Willis (DC United / USA.1) - 68.2 (26.3)
19. Andy Gruenebaum (Free Agent / None) - 68.2 (33)
20. Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union / USA.1) - 68.1 (23.3)

21. David Bingham (Strømmen IF / Norway.2) - 68 (25.2)
22. Andrew Weber (Portland Timbers / USA.1) - 68 (31.3)
23. Brian Perk (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 68 (25.4)
24. Bobby Shuttleworth (New England Revolution / USA.1) - 67.9 (27.6)
25. Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo / USA.1) - 67.8 (26.3)
26. Troy Perkins (Free Agent / None) - 67.8 (33.4)
27. Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire / USA.1) - 67.7 (25.6)
28. Ryan Meara (New York Red Bulls / USA.1) - 67.7 (24.1)
28. Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake / USA.1) - 67.7 (26.3)
30. Quentin Westberg (Free Agent / None) - 67.7 (28.7)

31. Evan Bush (Montreal Impact / USA.1) - 67.6 (28.8)
32. Andrew Dykstra (DC United / USA.1) - 67.6 (28.9)
33. Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Gil Vicente FC / Portugal.1) - 67.4 (27.6)
34. Diego Restrepo (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 67.4 (26.8)
35. Tim Melia (Free Agent / None) - 67.3 (27.8)
36. Eric Kronberg (Free Agent / None) - 67.2 (31.4)
37. Alex Horwath (Ljungskile SK / Sweden.2) - 67.1 (27.8)
38. Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City / USA.1) - 67.1 (21.7)
39. Mitch Hildebrandt (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 67 (26.1)
40. Brad Knighton (New England Revolution / USA.1) - 67 (29.8)

41. David Yelldell (Bayer Leverkusen / Germany.1) - 66.9 (33.9)
42. Matt Pyzdrowski (Angelholms FF / Sweden.2) - 66.9 (28.3)
43. Matt Van Oekel (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 66.8 (28.3)
44. Alec Kann (Chicago Fire / USA.1) - 66.8 (24.3)
45. Brock Duckworth (Free Agent / None) - 66.7 (25.7)
46. Joe Nasco (Free Agent / None) - 66.6 (30.5)
47. Evan Newton (Free Agent / USA.1) - 66.5 (26.7)
48. Jimmy Maurer (New York Cosmos / USA.2) - 66.5 (27.2)
49. Kyle Reynish (Chicago Fire / USA.2) - 66.4 (31.1)
50. John McCarthy (Rochester Rhinos / USA.1) - 66.4 (22.4)

51. Devala Gorrick (Ottawa Fury / USA.2) - 66.4 (27.4)
52. Akira Fitzgerald (Carolina Railhawks / USA.2) - 66.2 (27.4)
53. Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 66.2 (25.3)
54. Cody Mizell (Tampa Bay Rowdies / USA.2) - 66.1 (23.3)
55. Josh Ford (Free Agent / None) - 66 (27.1)
56. Kenneth Kronholm (Holstein Kiel / Germany.3) - 66 (29.2)
57. Ryan Taylor (Richmond Kickers / USA.3) - 65.9 (24.5)
58. Kyle Zobeck (New York Cosmos / USA.2) - 65.8 (24.8)
59. Patrick McLain (Free Agent / None) - 65.8 (26.3)
60. John Berner (Colorado Rapids / USA.1) - 65.8 (23.8)

61. Chris Konopka (Toronto FC / USA.1) - 65.7 (29.7)
61. Lance Parker (FC Edmonton / USA.2) - 65.7 (29.3)
63. Bryan Meredith (San Jose Earthquakes / USA.1) - 65.7 (25.3)
64. Nick Shackelford (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 65.6 (24.2)
65. Austin Guerrero (Estudiantes de Altamira / Mexico.2) - 65.6 (25.8)
66. David Meves (Fort Lauderdale Strikers / USA.2) - 65.6 (25.4)
67. Jordan Jennings (Free Agent / None) - 65.5 (29.7)
68. Justin Luthy (Portland Timbers / USA.1) - 65.4 (23.7)
69. Kevin Piedrahita (Águilas Doradas / Colombia.1) - 65.4 (23.5)
70. Adam Grinwis (Michigan / USA.N) - 65.3 (22.7)

71. Josh Wicks (AFC United / USA.N) - 65.3 (31.1)
72. Scott Goodwin (Carolina Railhawks / Sweden.2) - 65.3 (24.1)
73. Andrew Fontein (Minnesota United FC / USA.2) - 65.3 (24.8)
74. Scott Angevine (Vasa IFK / USA.2) - 65.2 (25.6)
75. Tom Almadon (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv / Finland.3) - 65.2 (30.1)
76. Jon Dawson (Free Agent / Israel.1) - 65.2 (23.8)
77. Brandon Miller (Rochester Rhinos / None) - 65.2 (25)
78. Patrick Wall (Notre Dame / USA.N) - 65.1 (23.3)
79. Carl Woszczynski (Arizona United / USA.3) - 65.1 (26.7)
80. Hunter Gilstrap (Pittsburgh Riverhounds / USA.3) - 65 (31.7)

81. Brad Stuver (Columbus Crew / USA.1) - 65 (23.7)
82. Sean Kelley (Free Agent / None) - 64.9 (26.7)
83. Phil Saunders (Bolungarvík FC / Iceland.2) - 64.9 (23.3)
84. Trevor Spangenberg (Free Agent / None) - 64.8 (23.7)
85. Cody Laurendi (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) - 64.7 (26.3)
86. Cody Cropper (Southampton / England.1) - 64.7 (21.8)
87. Carlos Rojas (CD Cruz Azul / Mexico.1) - 64.7 (24.8)
88. Michael Abalos (Cal FC / USA.4) - 64.7 (25.1)
89. Nicolas Platter (Carolina Railhawks / USA.2) - 64.6 (33.1)
90. Dominik Jakubek (Sacramento Republic / USA.3) - 64.6 (35.3)
91. Brian Holt (Free Agent / None) - 64.6 (26.1)
92. Patrick Lane (Karlstad BK / Sweden.4) - 64.6 (26.3)
93. Nick Noble (Harrisburg City Islanders / USA.3) - 64.5 (30.3)
94. Josh Saunders (New York City FC / USA.1) - 64.5 (33.8)
95. Paul Rachubka (Oldham Athletic / England.3) - 64.4 (33.6)
96. Lionel Brown (Fort Lauderdale Strikers / USA.2) - 64.4 (27.3)
97. Gregory Blum (Pittsburgh Riverhounds / USA.3) - 64.3 (25.7)
98. Daniel Withrow (MLS Keeper Pool / USA.1) - 64.2 (24.6)
99. Nathan Stockie (Jippo / Finland.2) - 64.1 (25.8)
100. Zac Lubin (IFK Lulea / Sweden.3) - 64 (25.3)

Our concluding note has nothing to do with goalkeepers but @nleimbach made some killer mock ups for what could be (should be) home-and-away jerseys for every US state.