cover photo from Los Angeles Galaxy
Before the US Men's National Team gears up for their last World Cup Qualifiers, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan received some backlash over their respective performances against Costa Rica and Honduras. The two aging goalkeepers have not had much support this cycle so I wrote about what our expectations should be towards the position, assuming the team is able to make it to Russia. The USMNT play Friday (hosting Panama in Orlando) and Tuesday (away against Trinidad and Tobago) to determine their World Cup hopes.
Alyssa Naeher started both games against New Zealand, conceding only one goal in the two games on an over the top ball that slipped between defenders. It's a tricky ball as no one is sure whose responsibility it falls to. These situations are tough on any goalkeeper but if Naeher is going to charge, she has to connect with the ball. There's a right way and a wrong way to both stay home and come off the line so I won't say she definitely should have stayed on her line. However if a goalkeeper isn't sure what the play will bring, they can always get set to make the save.
Los Angeles Galaxy 2's goalkeepers continue to grow in prestige. After earning his first USL Save of the Week, 18-year-old Eric Lopez notched three more starts in September, bringing his yearly total to twelve. Lopez is now joined by Justin Vom Steeg, who returns abroad from Fortuna Düsseldorf's reserve team. Vom Steeg played 90 minutes against the Tulsa Roughnecks, in a 1-0 loss.
The U17 World Cup kicks off this month. Goalkeepers include likely first choice goalkeeper Justin Garces (Atlanta United), CJ dos Santos (Benfica), and Alex Budnik (Sockers FC, Arlington Heights, Illinois). The USYNT's first game is October 6th against India and finish the group against Ghana on the 9th and Colombia on the 12th.
Richard Sanchez has finally resurfaced. After a stellar U20 World Cup with Mexico in 2013, the Mexican-American goalkeeper disappeared with Tigres in Liga MX. After only five starts in three years, he returned to MLS with the Chicago Fire in August. Last month he earned his first MLS start, in a 4-1 win with some nice saves against the San Jose Earthquakes
NWSL rookie Jane Campbell made 16 starts with the Houston Dash this year, compiling a less than desirable 1.5 GAA and the Dash finishing eighth in a ten team table. Campbell hasn't been congratulated with much fanfare but she's the only USWNT goalkeeper under 29 with a cap, so there's definitely more left in the tank from the Stanford alum.
16-year-old Nicolas Defreitas-Hansen has two starts under his belt with Everton's U18s, including a recent 1-1 result against Manchester United's side. Defreitas-Hansen made a breakaway save in the first half before conceding on another 1v1 in the 61st minute.
18-year-old English-American goalkeeper Brandon Austin has made four starts with Tottenham's U23s, one with the U18s, and another match against Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League where he made a quick save to redirect a shot over the crossbar.
Qualifying for the U20 World Cup on the women's side starts in January. Frontrunners for goalkeepers to be included on the roster include Laurel Ivory (University of Virginia), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech), Brooke Heinsohn (Duke), and Amanda Dennis (Penn State).
Ethan Horvath is 8-1 with Club Brugge this season and sits in first place after helping them preserve the scoreline with this fantastic save last week. (Thanks to Alex Schieferdecker for bringing this to my attention.)
Alex Horwath is unfortunately sidelined with a wrist injury after making four straight starts with SK Brann in Norway's top division, going 2-1-1 for the third placed team. If they can stay above fourth, SK Brann will make for Euorpa League qualifying next season.
UEFA Women's Champions League begins their knockout stage on October 4th. The 32 team tournament features five American goalkeepers:
- Katie Fraine, Avaldsnes vs. Barcelona
- Libby Stout, Apollon Limassol vs Linkoping
- Megan Dorsey, Sparta Praha vs PAOK
- Jillian McVicker, Olimpia Cluj vs Rosengard
- Emily Dolan, Medyk Konin vs Lyon
Brendan Moore kept back-to-back shutouts for Rochdale at the start of the month, the second one including penalty heroics to keep the score level.
Jon Busch made his 500th professional start, a professional career spanning 21 years. Busch talked about his motivation that has kept him going for so many years and hits on the goalkeeper community that he has learned from as well.
Adrianna Franch posted her 11th shutout of the season a couple weeks ago, setting a new NWSL season record. The Thorns will host the Orlando Pride on October 7th in their semifinal match.
Creighton's Michael Kluver connected on this unbelievable volley for the rare goalkeeper assist, forcing overtime against Tulsa in the dying seconds. Creighton would go on to win the game 2-1.
Off the Field
Lydia Williams headed northwest in a trade with the Seattle Reign, leaving Jane Campbell as the starter in Houston. The Seattle Reign already have a strong core of goalkeepers with Haley Kopmeyer and Madalyn Scheiffel so we'll see who sticks around for the 2018 season.
Kopmeyer heads to Australia with Canberra United this winter but this isn't the first time she's played abroad during the winter break. In the 2015-16 break she played with the Brisbane Roar for twelve matches. Kopmeyer should be back in time for the 2018 NWSL season unless she has other plans for next year.
Steven Goff did a wonderful writeup on the DC United-Bill Hamid drama, including this incredble quote.
Many have shown disproval of DC United's recent decision to sit Hamid for Steve Clark while European scouts were in the stands but Ryan Keefer brings fans back to earth with a much needed level-headed response.
David Bingham's name popped up on the MLS subreddit after his father was unhappy with San Jose's treatment of his son. There are 67 comments on it already so I'll leave the situation at that.
I'll be writing a little more on community service later this month but on September 24th Matt Lampson celebrated his ten-year anniversary of being cancer-free. John Wilkinson wrote in detail Lampson's role in the organization.
Several goalkeepers updated their online journals. Mike Lansing in Denmark told us about his recent injury. Emily Armstrong has done a great job of filling us in on life away from the field in Norway. And Everybody Soccer's three collegiate writers added to their journals earlier this month. (Congrats to Noah Heim on his first collegiate start with Marquette.)
NASL's Save of the Week from September 2nd is a real doozy.