cover photo from Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Wrong Kind of OG
Okay, okay, everyone probably saw this play. But what they missed was Bingham's approach. The ball takes an awkward spin off a deflection yet Bingham tries to catch the ball with both hands on either side. For any low trickling ball, a goalkeeper wants to use his hands to ramp the ball up into his chest for this specific reason. Bingham received some really positive feedback after the poor outing, but it's important to know the play is a product of poor technique, not a lapse in concentration. When you're lazy with the little things, you open yourself up for more mistakes.
2. Forward Step Puts Hamid Behind
In the 38th minute DC United are called for a foul in the box. (Watch the penalty here.) As Columbus' Federico Higuain winds up to take the shot, Hamid utilizes the popular forward step approach to cut down the angle. While the idea behind the practice makes sense, more times than not it puts the goalkeeper at a disadvantage because it is down incorrectly. Notice how Hamid has not only lost time on shot (the ball is about a quarter of the way to the goal before Hamid plants his foot) but his step has actually put him farther away from the ball. His right foot is behind the midway point because of his awkward "forward" step. Needless to say, Hamid did not make the save despite diving the correct way.
3. Lending a Hand
Steffen hasn't been great in the air since day one and this part of his game still plagues him today. For whatever reason (perhaps he is thrown off by the passing attacker?) he tries to catch the ball with one hand and drops a goose egg in front of goal. Nothing more than a corner comes from it but for a young goalkeeper trying to show his team he's ready to take over the reigns, the small things can't be an issue. MLS is a cross-heavy league and while he makes a great low save in the 70th minute, reaction saves come second to being able to handle crosses in MLS.
4. Bendik Bails Out Orlando
Late game heroics are always a lot of fun, especially when it's the goalkeeper. Last week I was critical of the starfish approach as the goalkeeper is typically better suited for staying back to make the simple save there. However a save is a save and there's nothing critical to say here. Bendik saved the win for Orlando, not another goalkeeper doing something different. But what really stood out on this play was his awareness to chase the ball down after making the save. He doesn't just throw his body out recklessly, he lands on his feet to be able to move. He corrals the ball to stop another chance on goal, putting the game to sleep right before he grabs some bedtime pizza.
5. Penal o No Era Penal?
In the first half, Robles concedes a penalty on trying to bail out a teammate for a poor pass. Robles shows up just a second too late and tackles Jordan Morris. It was the correct call and fans were probably more frustrated with the poor pass instead of Robles' attempt to save it. However just minutes later, Frei shows us an alternative approach to a tight 1v1. Frei realizes he is going to be second to the ball and twists his body to avoid contact. Robles play is probably a little trickier as he is leading with his feet instead of hands, like Frei is, but the bigger point is that goalkeepers must be able to adjust in the middle of 1v1s. They can't always just make one decision from the get-go as the landscape is quick to change.