Everybody Soccered - April 2015

 April 30th

Last things for the end of the month. Joe Nasco has underwent successful surgery for his twice broken foot. He has a GoFundMe to help his family out this year, as he is unable to run his goalkeeping camps this summer. I'm sure his family will appreciate any donated amount, even a dollar.

This is a little late but Eduardo Fernandez, a goalkeeper for Real Monarchs, spoke about his ties with Mexico and the US.

Along the lines of another Google translate-needed article, John McCarthy could find a little more security in Philadelphia with M'Bolhi hinting at his exit. He will still have to contend with Andre Blake when he is 100% healthy, of course, but right now he is the starter.

Kristin Nicht transferred from Indy 11 to Montreal Impact in hopes to help them win the CONCACAF Champions League. Well that didn't happen but on a positive note the starting spot in Indy is open between two youngsters: Keith Cardona and Jon Dawson. Dawson spent last year as a backup with Indy and Cardona is returning from an appearance-less trip to Austria. I would assume Dawson, two years older than Cardona, would earn the starting spot but time will tell. They don't have a game this weekend so the team should have enough time to make the correct decision.

Looks like we have big things coming this next month!

April 26th

The highlight of the month, if not year, was my interview with an old USMNT goalkeeper, Victor Gerley. We discussed his time as a professional and what the 1966 WCQ cycle was like. I then followed that up with some in-depth analysis about Cody Cropper. TLDR? He's showing improvement but still has some room to grow.

Tally Hall is training again and looking to return soon. Donovan Ricketts hasn't exactly been helpful for Orlando so if Hall is back to 100%, they'll be anxious to have him start.

In Cup action, both Quentin Westberg (Sarpsborg 08) and Ethan Horvath (Molde) earned shutouts.

Clint Irwin and Joe Nasco weighed in on my interview with Pat Wall, who retired much earlier than expected.

The US Open Cup kicked off its preliminary round this weekend. The first round, featuring PDL and NPSL teams, starts May 13th. There will be some NCAA D1 starters in the mix as always so keep an eye out there. For example, Everybody Soccer alum Hunter Harrison will be playing with the Tulsa Athletics this spring and likely in the tournament.

April 16th

National Team Round Up

  • The US Men's National Team has recently seen new personnel in goal. Familiar face Nick Rimando played the full 90 against Denmark but William Yarbrough came in for the second half against Switzerland and Mexico, the latter where he also holds citizenship. It was an exceptionally proud moment after another glorious dos a cero performance when Mexico's goalkeeping was clearly in need of help. Here is WPY talking about his time with the USMNT and another with Alvarado. For analysis on Mr. Yarbrough, I wrote about him on Soccer Over There.

  • The U23s enjoyed a decent performance in Europe with Charlie Horton and Tyler Miller in the gloves. Horton started both games and Miller played the second half against Denmark. Here are highlights of the Denmark and Bosnia and Herzegovina games. 

  • Hope Solo started for the Women's Team against New Zealand but sat comfortably untested in the 4-0 win. Solo, Ashlyn Harris, and Alyssa Naeher comprise of the goalkeeping core for the official World Cup roster.

  • Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia) started for the U20s against England. Caldwell could push Ethan Horvath for the backup spot for this summer's World Cup. Zack Steffen is the expected starter.

  • Lastly, and although not technically affiliated with the USSF, the United States won the first World Minifootball Federation World Cup last month (aka indoor soccer). Danny Waltman and Joey Kapinos split time to lead the US to victory. Here are highlights of the final, full of over the top announcers, a classic US-Mexico scuffle (4:55) and Waltman making a fantastic save (7:10).

Goalkeeper Happenings

Kasey Keller has been elected to the Hall of Fame while Briana Scurry has been left off for her second year in a row. Scurry had 173 caps (71 more than Keller), was a part of the most iconic moment in the Women's Team's history, and has more than a few honors to her name. The only explainable reason she wasn't inducted in either of these two years is that they forgot she was on the ballot.

Philadelphia is in full support of John McCarthy, their newest goalkeeper. The Union are hoping he can undo some of the team's low moments in their history, many of them goalkeeper-related, but their claim to finding a hidden gem is somewhat misleading. After McCarthy graduated from La Salle, he went undrafted in 77 picks during the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. McCarthy went on trial with the Sounders soon after but ended up not being offered a contract there either. He fell to the USL, where he thrived, and then came back strong this year to win the third string job in Philadelphia for 2015.

Philadelphia's head coach, Jim Curtin, recently said about McCarthy “He’s a kid that I’ve watched play for a long time and a guy that I rated pretty highly. I monitored him last year when he went on trial in Seattle, monitored him last year with USL PRO in Rochester. He’s a guy I believe in and a guy that I believe can do the job.” This is confusing because if Philadelphia had rated McCarthy highly, they would have selected him with one of their eight draft picks. Instead McCarthy was passed over for Andre Blake (two years older than McCarthy) as well as six other players who aren't even on roster with Philadelphia anymore, most of those not being offered a contract going into the season. And, yes, Philadelphia was full on goalkeepers at the moment, but they could have sent McCarthy to Harrisburg if they really thought he was a future MLS starter. Don't be misled. McCarthy's rise to Philadelphia's starter has less to do with MLS and Philadelphia, and more to do with the goalkeeper himself.

On the subject of MLS goalkeepers, they have had a rough start to the season.

The numbers above are a game-by-game GSAR total. Goals saved above replacement is a stat I created to track goalkeepers' performances. Only six goalkeepers have actually helped their team this season while sixteen have hurt their team, with the ever decreasingly popular M'Bolhi in dead last. In total, there have been 11 more goals conceded than a replacement goalkeeper's expected performance. So it's safe to say the start of the season has been rough for MLS goalkeepers.

Goalkeeper Link House

  • Here's a video of Adelaide Gay training with her new team and fielding some questions about her new environment. Gay was a backup for Washington last year and (sounds like) will be a starter for Kvarnsveden, a second division Finnish team.
  • Jimmy Maurer probably had the save of the season in early NASL action.
  • Roger Bennett spoke with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan about what it's like to be a goalkeeper in the Premier League. It's 30 minutes long so get comfy.
  • The Richmond Kickers v Wilmington Hammerheads highlights feature a sweet opposite direction save by DC United-loanee Travis Worra, a penalty save by Worra, and then a 30-ish passing sequence for a goal.
  • I wrote about how Nick Rimando will almost certainly not win MLS's Goalkeeper of the Year award on ASA.
  • A while back I wrote about Tim Howard's recent play and the same day he made a sweet save just to spite what I wrote.
  • And of course there is the Top 100 American Goalkeepers but you already knew that.