24 Goalkeepers Under 24: USMNT Prospects

cover photo belongs to Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

MLS released their popular 24 Under 24 list last month. Throughout all the buzz, it has received some backlash due to twenty-four not really being an age for field players to be considered "young". On the other hand, goalkeepers are commonly known for budding late and playing longer than the average field player. This could explain why, out of the 75 player shortlist, there was only one goalkeeper named (Brian Sylvestre). Kempin, MacMath, and McCarthy were all excluded from making the nominee list and even Sylvestre didn't make the cut for the final 24. I realize there are only so many goalkeepers that are even under 24 years old in the league, but it's still odd that out of six teams worth of players only one would actually be in goal. Nonetheless make no mistake there are 24 great goalkeepers under 24 years old, just most of them aren't playing in MLS.

This is essentially an updated version of the prospect list I published back in August but now we're including goalkeepers that are in the top 100, which I did not do last time. Of the 24, they're weighted by both current ability and potential. You'll notice that players like Zack Steffen are technically rated higher than his peers like Lyon and DiMaggio in this list, even though Steffen isn't in the top 100 while Lyon and DiMaggio are, which is based off of purely current ability. (Steffen still has some room to grow to be in the top 100 current goalkeepers, which I wrote briefly about here.)

USMNT Goalkeeper Prospects

1. Ethan Horvath (Molde FK / Norway.1) 20.3
2. Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City / USA.1) 22.5
3. Brian Sylvestre (Philadelphia Union / USA.1) 22.8
4. John McCarthy (Philadelphia Union / USA.1) 23.3
5. Alex Bono (Toronto FC II / USA.3) 21.5
6. Adam Grinwis (Rochester Rhinos / USA.3) 23.5

Horvath is on pace to be the next great USMNT goalkeeper. He's a great example of what sound mechanics will do for you. He's always set in time, with an even stance, and knows when to be patient and will to push. Kempin has come on slow in Kansas City but it'll be interesting to see what happens next season as the time has come for him to start. Sylvestre and McCarthy had their up and downs in Philly but given their respective ages they still have the opportunity to be either utilized or completely ruined by the Union, as the latter seems to be more common for Philadelphia's young goalkeepers. Bono really struggled for USL Toronto. It looked like he was overwhelmed at times, similar to MacMath's time in Philadelphia. If he can get back to what we know he can do, he'll grow. Grinwis was the backup in Rochester but has shown the ability to keep moving up.

7. Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg / Germany.1) 20.5
8. Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders II / USA.3) 23.5
9. Cody Cropper (MK Dons / England.2) 22.7
10. Zach Bennett (Michigan State / USA.N) 21.8
11. Paul Blanchette (Loyola Marymount / USA.N) 21.5
12. Devin Perales (Free Agent / None) 22.5

It's rare to see a goalkeeper start for the U20s and U23s in one cycle - I don't know if it's ever been done - but Steffen can get frozen at times when he has an opportunity to play up to expectations, which lands him at number seven here. Lyon had a tremendous season with USL Sounders, even making the bench for the MLS parent. Cropper is recovering from knee surgery but already earned starts with MK Dons. Bennett is expected to be drafted in January's SuperDraft while Blanchette could easily go unnoticed, which might actually work out better for him as he'll get to choose what USL or NASL club he'd like to work with. Perales had positive and negative moments with Austin Aztex but as they're not set to return for next season, Perales is free to roam.

13. Dom DiMaggio (Seacoast United Phantoms / USA.4) 23.7
14. Jeff Caldwell (Virginia / USA.N) 19.7
15. Eric Klenofsky (Monmouth / USA.N) 21.1
16. Austin Rogers (Kitsap / USA.4) 20.2
17. Jake Feener (Tulsa Roughnecks / USA.3) 23.5
18. Tyler Miller (Seattle Sounders II / USA.3) 22.6

DiMaggio excelled in the PDL last season and hopefully he can land somewhere else besides Director of Goalkeeping. Caldwell (sophomore) and Klenofsky (junior) are quietly becoming MLS prospects while peer Austin Rogers is plying his trade in Albania. Feener worked his way into the starting role in Tulsa. Miller has returned from Germany but only made one appearance with USL Sounders.

19. JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown / USA.N) 18.4
20. Spencer Richey (Vancouver Whitecaps II / USA.3) 23.4
21. Matt Bersano (Penn State / USA.N) 23.1
22. Justin Vom Steeg (UC Santa Barbara / USA.N) 18.5
23. Keith Cardona (Indy Eleven / USA.2) 22.9
24. Alexandros Tabakis (Panathinaikos / Greece.1) 22.8

Freshman Marcinkowski and Vom Steeg have played a large role in their school's RPI ratings, (11th and 16th). Richey, like Bono, had a streaky season in Vancouver. It didn't help that USL Whitecaps were near awful so hopefully Richey can reset in the offseason and come back with a clean slate. Bersano is doing well with his new school but they need a boost to get into the national tournament as they're below the line at the moment. Cardona worked his way into the starting role for Indy. Tabakis returns to Panathinaikos after his loan with VVV-Venlo ended.

Best of the Rest

I know, I know, you want to read comments about goalkeepers all day but we just don't have the time. Here are another 26 promising goalkeepers to round us out at a nice 50. Fifty Under Twenty-Four doesn't have quite the same ring to it so don't mind the math.

25. Alec Ferrell (Wake Forest / USA.N) 21.6
26. Andrew Wolverton (Los Angeles Galaxy / USA.1) 22.3
27. Jeff Gal (Lidköpings FK / Sweden.4) 22.5
28. Travis Worra (Richmond Kickers / USA.3) 22.5
29. Ashkan Khosravi (UC Riverside / USA.N) 21.8
30. Keegan Rogers (IFK Lammhult / Sweden.4) 22.4
31. Matt Cardone (San Antonio Scorpions / USA.2) 22.3
32. Arie Ammann (Penn State / USA.N) 19
33. Wade Hamilton (Cal Poly / USA.N) 21.1
34. Ben Lockler (Free Agent / None) 22.6
35. Luis Barraza (Marquette / USA.N) 18.9
36. Danny Rogers (Falkirk FC / Scotland.2) 21.6
37. David Greczek (Rutgers / USA.N) 21
38. Ben Willis (Gonzaga / USA.N) 19.8
39. Kyle Renfro (Harrisburg City Islanders / USA.3) 23.5
40. Brendan Moore (Fleetwood Town / England.3) 23.5
41. Zack Downes (Arizona United / USA.3) 22.5
42. Kamil Kaminski (Icon FC / USA.4) 21.9
43. Eric Osswald (Real Monarchs / USA.3) 23.9
44. Austin Aviza (Syracuse / USA.N) 18.7
45. Ricky Brown (Colgate / USA.N) 20.8
46. Kevin Silva (UCLA / USA.N) 17.8
47. Michael Breslin (UC Irvine / USA.N) 21.8
48. Grayson Rector (Belmont / USA.N) 21.2
49. Josh Cohen (OC Blues FC / USA.3) 23.2
50. Bobby Edwards (Saint Joseph's / USA.N) 19.8