Ethan Horvath Scouting Report

Cover photo from Molde FK

The songs are from post-hardcore quintet mewithoutYou ("All Circles") and the midwest emo band Good Luck ("Significant Day") because we need a little more variety in our highlight videos than inane techno music.

The video includes some really good saves, some goals he couldn't do anything on, and some goals he definitely wasn't at his best. Most highlight videos include save after save but you can really tell just how good a goalkeeper is by the type of goals they concede. Not to mention, if you search "Ethan Horvath" on YouTube, the top results are people either talking about Horvath, Horvath getting scored on, or some kid playing piano. So it's intentionally not a highlight video. It's a survey what type of goalkeeper the twenty year old is.


Enough can't be said about his technique and mechanics. He clearly has been sculpted as a goalkeeper and the results are someone who can play in Europa League as essentially a young sophomore in college. His stance is typically very even and his jumpset is impeccable. It is because of his sound mechanics that he can overcome his average athleticism to make an extended save. He is set in time with the shot and can move his body in the most optimal way to cover ground. Additionally, he's never trying to force a play. Instead, he is trusts his skills to time the play and react as necessary. So he'll sit back on his line waiting to make a save, like Brad Guzan often does. Even in 1v1 situations, he'll still play very passive. He won't rush out there trying to solve it with brashness. He's calm, playing high percentage areas like a specifically placed wall, instead of a flaming car from 2 Fast 2 Furious. 

It should also be noted that he shows the correct mindset and poise to be playing at such a high level, as much as you can tell watching video. He never looks out of depth or beaten; he looks like he really loves the competition and embraces it. There have been a number of young goalkeepers that come up early only to look overwhelmed, especially after giving up a poor goal. Horvath, on the other hand, looks similar whether he made a great save or slipped up on the play. And looking at his path taken to where he is today, it makes sense.


The biggest weaknesses are clearly his lack of athleticism and reactions. He's not a Bill Hamid or Jon Busch. His top saves will almost all be extension saves. That's not saying he won't have any reaction saves (there's one that opens the video) but it's just not going to happen as often. Similarly, his lateral movement and post-to-post time is relatively slow. I think this has more to do with his body frame and what his focus has been as a goalkeeper up to now. Clearly he has a goalkeeper coach, not a goalkeeper trainer. If he had a trainer, he would be a quicker and stronger athlete but would have spent less time focusing on being a good goalkeeper. I'd still like to see a little more spring in his lead diving foot. Right now, his lead foot is more of a prop to rotate power generated from his back leg as opposed to giving us a nice Oliver Kahn-explosive dive. Several of his dives he doesn't get the elevation or power needed to cover the frame as much as he should.


If there was a US goalkeeper I would compare him to it would be Brad Friedel. I know, I know, I don't want to Earl Edwards him - and I'm not - but he has the frame and approach that Friedel had. Both tall and lanky, they loved to let the game come to them and then respond, as if to say "Let's see the best you can do but I'm not worried about it." Friedel was never the most agile of goalkeepers but as someone who was playing in the EPL at 42, he clearly had some thought behind his play. Horvath is in a great position to grow as a goalkeeper. Like I said earlier, he has the mechanics that he can build off of and like David de Gea did, he can up his athleticism still. I'm not penning him down as a definite World Cup starter, but when he's compared to his peers he's noticeably ahead of them.