Everybody Soccered - February 2015

cover photo belongs to Darryl Dyck

February 28th

Someone asked about height playing a role in penalty kicks so I wrote about it. I also interviewed Yank abroad Phil Saunders about his last season.

Tony Meola, Juergen Sommer, and Arnie Mausser all had birthdays this month so make sure you celebrate those accordingly. While Meola and Sommer have relatively stayed in the spotlight, Mausser had been quietly coaching at a variety of places and been somewhat involved with the newly expanded NASL side, Jacksonville Armada.

Hope Solo has returned with the USWNT. Her teammates are rightfully supportive of her return but the goalkeeping situation without Solo is not as dire as some make it to be. There are a number of goalkeepers that could fill in without a drop off in play. Ashlyn Harris filled in just fine, although the scoreline didn't show up, and long time backup Nicole Barnhart is still available. Overseas, there's always Livepool's 24 year old starter Libby Stout as well as another UEFA Champions League starter, Katie Fraine. So no worries there. The American women kickoff the Algarve Cup on Wednesday, against Norway. This will be more than a good warmup for the defense and, most likely, Solo.

The US Soccer Hall of Fame ballot was released last week. It now features first time nominee and shoe-in Kasey Keller (101 caps) while Briana Scurry (173 caps) was robbed last year but will eventually get the call. Other goalkeepers on the list include Canadian Pat Onstad and Zach Thornton, who both have two MLS Goalkeeper of the Year awards. Shep Messing is also on the Veteran ballot. Goalkeepers already in the hall include:

  • Jimmy Douglas (1954)
  • Frank Borghi (1976)
  • Arnie Mausser (2003)
  • Tony Meola (2012)

Sacramento Republic goalkeeper Patrick McLain did a AMA on Reddit. The best answer was easily his prediction of the future (spoiler: includes robots and aliens). There is also a really fun slow downed video of a save he had last week.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz is following up with his own AMA on Tuesday. Recently retired goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum has one on Wednesday.

John McCarthy finally signed with Philadelphia, even though we all knew that for over a month. What happens with McCarthy from here is still up in the air. Most likely he'll end up in USL for 1-3 more years but it's unclear which organization.

Matthew Bersano, one of the top collegiate goalkeepers, will be going to Penn State for grad school next fall, where he should be starting for his last year of eligibility. Bersano has been training with Sporting Kansas City during the offseason. 

Another goalkeeper has signed abroad. Recent UNC graduate Brendan Moore signed with Fleetwood Town, a third division team in England.

Ethan Horvath was in net for Molde FK preseason friendly. No video available but they said he "was a good rescue at the end".

A series of random links:


February 14th

My weekly goalkeeper installment for Paste Soccer covered Brad Friedel last week. The Goalkeeper Who Stopped Time wasn't my idea for the title but I wish it was.

Quentin Westberg played the final 45 minutes for Colorado's preseason match against. No video available but Westberg would potentially be Colorado's fourth goalkeeper.

We're in the interview season for American goalkeepers:

Tim Howard and Brad Guzan were in action last week. Everton lost 1-0 to top of the table Chelsea but Howard is looking back to 100%. Guzan incorporated the rarely used groin save in a 2-0 loss to Hull City. Aston Villa has now played more than twice as many games as they have goals scored and are sitting in the relegation zone for the moment. If they are relegated, don't expect Guzan to return to MLS, just for the record.


February 7th

USMNT legend Frank Borghi passed away earlier this week. Many kind things were said about him and I collected as much of it as I could.

A translated article on exiled Quentin Westberg implies that he's coming back to MLS. Westberg has been eyeing MLS since when I spoke with him in October and will be training with the Colorado Rapids. Colorado already has two goalkeepers competing for the starting role so there's a good chance we see Westberg go to Charlotte Independence (USL affiliate) or use preseason games as a time to showcase himself and bounce to another team. We could see him head to a team with very young goalkeepers (San Jose, Toronto FC) or a club that needs more competition and depth (New England, New York City).

MLS Preseason has kicked off. Five story lines to follow before the start of the season.

  1. Joe Bendik's make or break year - Bendik is turning twenty-six in April and will likely show what type of goalkeeper he will be this year: a floating veteran or a premier goalkeeper with constant buzz about him going overseas. He's had a strong start to the preseason with several good saves against RBNY. He has the talent, tools, and experience; now can he put it all together?
  2. Clint Irwin vs. Zac MacMath - Neither are building off anything special as both struggled mightily last year. MacMath is excited about the new start but Irwin was struggling to bounce back from an injury. With both at 100%, which goalkeeper will Colorado turn to to make a push for the playoffs?
  3. Adam Kwarasey - The Ghanaian international is filling in where Donovan Ricketts left off. With so little known about him, how will he fair with the new environment? How much is his international rep worth in MLS?
  4. Dan Kennedy vs. Chris Seitz - Respected veteran Dan Kennedy found himself in Dallas after Chivas closed their final chapter. Seitz, on the other hand, broke into the number one role last year after unseating Raul Fernandez. Will Kennedy finally take a back seat role or will Dallas utilize him as their number one man?
  5. Joe Willis vs. Tyler Deric - Houston's goalkeeper battle between two backups looking to finally emerge as a starter. Deric has been in the system for some time but Houston traded specifically for Willis. Will Houston go with a familiar face or some new blood?

My weekly post on Paste Online Magazine is up, where I honored the greatest American goalkeeper ever. (Hint: he is bald.) I also interviewed Swedish premier goalkeeper Matt Pzydrowski, projected the top 100 goalkeepers three years from now and updated the current top 100. So don't complain about being short on American goalkeeping reading material.

Cody Cropper is doing better. Here is a photo of him winking with his swollen shut eye after he broke his eye socket in a collision last month.

Ethan Horvath's situation in Molde is a little murky at the moment. Earlier in the transfer window, Everton was eyeing Molde's current starter, Orjan Nyland, and then Molde brought in a twenty-one year old Swedish goalkeeper. Horvath is still too young to start in Norway and while he did play the second half of a preseason game earlier last week, we'll have to wait to see what Molde does and where Horvath sits in the pecking order.

Zac Lubin is getting some buzz in Ireland. He's connected with Cork City FC and possibly Shamrock Rovers, both Irish premier teams.

Julie Foudy points out just how bad the USWNT goalkeeper situation is, now with Hope Solo separated from the team. She reminds us that Solo will be returning before the start of the World Cup, but if worst comes to worst, unexperienced goalkeepers will be put on centerstage.

FC Dallas goalkeeper coach won't discuss what Keeper Island is. We can only hope it's related to Lost somehow.