cover photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
ES is a little quiet during the summer so please accept this apology and late post. Yes I know it is July but never mind that. This is for June.
I wrote a few goalkeeper-related things last month. Of course there's the top 100 USMNT goalkeepers (and what gloves they use) but I also covered the top 15 in the U23s pool. And my monthly post on ASA featured a battle royale of sorts.
Easily most important, Hope Solo and the USWNT have advanced to the World Cup Final. Solo, who essentially owns every USWNT goalkeeping record, has only conceded one goal in competition and honestly has had a quiet tournament. Even Germany, the favorite for many, hardly tested Solo as the US was stellar at getting numbers back when the Germans lobbed cross after cross into the box. The US takes on Japan Sunday in a rematch of the 2011 final.
The U20s finished a respectable seventh in the 2015 U20 World Cup. Starting goalkeeper Zack Steffen conceded three goals over 840 minutes (including qualifying) and made a penalty save look really easy in the first round of the knockout stage. Perhaps Steffen's greatest accomplishment was throwing himself into the U23 goalkeeper pool. The U23s start qualifying in October, near the same time the U17s kick off their World Cup journey. (The draw for their group is August 6th.)
USMNT did a 1-2 punch in Europe against juggernauts Netherlands and Germany. (You can catch highlights of Brad Guzan's outings here and here.) Guzan looks like he is rebounding from the sour ending at Aston Villa and will be starting for the Gold Cup. However, once Tim Howard returns to the scene this fall, Guzan will have to convince Klinsmann that the changing of the guard is the right move. Here's a great picture of Guzan keeping himself big on a 1v1 save. Only slightly cooler than this one.
The U23s finished third it the Toulon Tournament, somehow. After going 2-2 in group play, where goalkeeping was a sore spot for the Americans, they topped England 2-1 in the third place game. All three U23 goalkeepers are likely to be somewhere else this next fall. Charlie Horton signed with Leeds United while his counterpart Cody Cropper signed with MK Dons, another second division English team. MK Dons are recently promoted from the third division, which makes me even less excited about Cropper's new club. Not that playing time will be hard to come by, but that the opposition could be too much for Cropper, and Horton for that matter. Neither have really excelled at the U23 level to the point where I'd trust them to be starting for a club that is equal, if not better, than an MLS team. (Cropper had the opportunity there as well.) Hopefully it works out but there are better options out there. The third U23 goalkeeper, Tyler Miller, is back in Seattle after what one could call a dreadful time in Germany: two red cards and ten starts, all of which were losses. USL Sounders goalkeeper Charlie Lyon has been performing admirably so Miller could be looking elsewhere for playing time.
David Meves did maybe the shortest interview ever.
The Developmental Academy season is coming to an end. Three goalkeepers were picked for tops from the east, central, and west conferences. Mason Stadjuhar (17 years old, Orlando City), Marcel DaSilva (Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Tulsa commit), and J.T. Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Georgetown commit) were the three winners, respectively.
Angel Alvarez advanced to the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships with his team Las Vegas Soccer Association (LVSA 97s). I interviewed Alvarez about his interesting career earlier this year. The national tournament features the best non-DA clubs in the country and kicks off July 21st in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Some American goalkeepers are starting for other nations and while it's not in the red-white-and-blue, we're still proud of them. Doug Herrick has kept Guam in the chase for the World Cup and Keasel Broome originally earned two shutouts against Aruba but the last game was nullified for an illegal player. So Barbados is officially out of the running despite Broome's efforts. Herrick and Guam find out later in July who'll they'll be playing in the third round of qualifying.
This isn't goalkeeper-centric but last year I interviewed Coppell's high school coach, Chad Rakestraw, over at Top Drawer Soccer. The academy he spoke of then is now coming to fruition. Another friend of the site, Joe Funicello, is heading off to coach in Iceland and we wish him the best of luck over there.
Other tidbits that don't need a ton of commentary:
- Brad Stuver and Steve Clark help kill time during a rain delay.
- U17 goalkeeper Kevin Silva committed to UCLA and my man Brooke Tunstall reminds us what good company he's in. Fellow U17 goalkeeper Will Pulisic is heading to Duke.
- Jonathan Klinsmann was training with Stuttgart in Germany.
- Jeff Gal, technically a U23 prospect, is doing well in Sweden.
- Akira Fitzgerald joins the waiver list in New York.
- Scott Angevine is heading back to Finland.
- Retired goalkeeper Pat Wall is up to great things.
- The three USWNT goalkeepers are good a looking tough.
- Chris Konopka talks about the journey from backup to starter in Toronto.
- Tally Hall is proud to be an American.
And here are a bunch of saves for you:
- Patrick McLain's three great saves this month: one, two, and three.
- U20 Jeff Caldwell in training
- Austin Aztex Devin Perales getting low
- Andrew Dykstra made a finger tip save that I think everyone missed.
- David Bingham, Steve Clark, and Dykstra all had great MLS Save of the Week nominations. Watch gifs of each Bingham, Clark, and Dykstra.
- Week 17's saves weren't that bad either.
- Nick Rimando being Nick Rimando while Tim Melia is... also being himself?
- Will Dieterich had a solid penalty save
- John McCarthy pushed Philadelphia on via penalties, which included a smooth helmet flip.
Lastly, John McCarthy has been doing some really great charity work, including donating his time and hair.