Top 50 Goalkeepers in Women's Soccer (2018)

The Top 50 Women's Rankings return with just a little over a year until the next World Cup. Asia and South America have finalized their qualification process, which only leaves Africa, North America, and Europe to fill out the World Cup's final 16 spots this fall. We'll see a number of these goalkeepers in France next summer while the recently concluded UEFA Champions League had a handful as well.

The first set of rankings are based on current play, both club and country, while the U24 rankings are centered around projecting the top goalkeepers for the next World Cup cycle.

 

rank. player, nationality (club / league) - age

1. Erin McLeod, Canada (USV Jena / Germany) - 35
2. Almuth Schult, Germany (Wolfsburg / Germany) - 27
3. Karen Bardsley, England (Manchester City / England) - 33
4. Stephanie Labbé, Canada (Free Agent) - 31
5. Alyssa Naeher, USA (Chicago Red Stars / USA) - 30
6. Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Finland (Vålerenga / Norway) - 32
7. Lisa Schmitz, Germany (Turbine Potsdam / Germany) - 26
8. Lydia Williams, Australia (Seattle Reign / USA) - 30
9. Lisa Weiss, Germany (SGS Essen / Germany) - 30
10. Carly Telford, England (Chelsea / England) - 30

Both Stephanie Labbé and Erin McLeod experienced setbacks with their clubs, as the PDL ruled Labbé wasn't eligible for PDL play and Jena were relegated to the second division after a 4-0 loss last week. Almuth Schult and Wolfsburg repeat as champions in the Bundesliga but Mary Earps' signing may put Schult's future with the club in question. Alyssa Naeher looks to maintain her starting spot with the US when they kick up qualifying in October but will first face Lydia Williams and Australia in the 2018 Tournament of Nations in the run-up to qualifying.

 

11. Adrianna Franch, USA (Portland Thorns FC / USA) - 27
12. Aubrey Bledsoe, USA (Washington Spirit / USA) - 26
13. Gaëlle Thalmann, Switzerland (Mozzanica / Italy) - 31
14. Haley Kopmeyer, USA (Orlando Pride / USA) - 28
15. Sandra Paños, Spain (Barcelona / Spain) - 25
16. Stephanie Ohrstrom, Sweden (Fiorentina / Italy) - 31
17. Michelle Betos, USA (Seattle Reign / USA) - 30
18. Katie Fraine, USA (Växjö / Sweden) - 30
19. Ashlyn Harris, USA (Orlando Pride / USA) - 32
20. Meline Gerard, France (Montpellier / France) - 28

A number of Americans fill in the batch here. Adriana Franch should be nearing her return to the field after undergoing surgery on her meniscus back at the end of April. Haley Kopmeyer patiently awaits in the wing to take over for Ashlyn Harris in Orlando. Michelle Betos has had a major resurgence in her career while Aubrey Bledsoe has broken onto the scene after being mostly a backup for a number of years. Lastly, Spanish goaltender Sandra Paños had a strong Champions League run before ending with a hard-fought showing to eventual champions Lyon in a close 3-1 series.

 

21. Adelaide Gay, USA (Portland Thorns / USA) - 28
22. Didi Haracic, USA (Washington Spirit / USA) - 26
23. Mary Earps, England (Reading / England) - 25
24. Sarah Bouhaddi, France (Lyon / France) - 31
25. Laëtitia Philippe, France (Montpellier / France) - 27
26. Karima Benameur, France (Paris FC / France) - 29
27. Sabrina D'Angelo, Canada (North Carolina Courage / USA) - 25
28. Hedvig Lindahl, Sweden (Chelsea / England) - 35
29. Laura O'Sullivan, Wales (Cyncoed Ladies / Wales) - 26
30. Loes Geurts, Netherlands (Göteborg / Sweden) - 32

Sarah Bouhaddi recently captured her fifth Champions League title and her third in as many years. Wales have managed to score only three goals in their five World Cup qualifying games yet have 11 points largely because Laura O'Sullivan hasn't conceded a goal in qualifying, with her best performance coming against England in a 0-0 draw. Mary Earps earned her first cap for England last year after three positive seasons with Reading and just recently signed with Wolfsburg for her efforts there. Sabrina D'Angelo has been kept busy in North Carolina, notching three 1-0 wins for the first place Courage, before stepping out with an ankle sprain.

 

 31. Sari van Veenendaal, Netherlands (Arsenal / England) - 28
32. Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, Poland (PSG / France) - 27
33. Genevieve Richard, Canada (Marseille / France) - 25
34. Rachael Laws, England (Sunderland / Englan) - 27
35. Oksana Zheleznyak, Kazakhstan (BIIK-Karzygurt / Kazakhstan) - 31
36. Kateryna Samson, Ukraine (Ryazan / Russia) - 29
37. Megan Dorsey, USA (AC Sparta Praha / Czech Republic) - 26
38. Friederike Abt, Germany (Hoffenheim / Germany) - 23
39. Lee Alexander, Scotland (Glasgow City / Scotland) - 26
40. Kaycee Gunion, USA (Sky Blue FC / USA) - 28
 

Katarzyna Kiedrzynek and Poland have a tough task in front of them next week as they need a win at home against Scotland to realistically keep their World Cup hopes alive. Ukraine hopes to lean heavily on Kateryna Samson as well, as they take on Sweden and Denmark this month to try to keep their foot in the World Cup's door. Megan Dorsey helped Sparta Praha reach the round of 16 in Champions League play, marking one of the better finishes by a Czech club in Champions League history.  Friederike Abt is the youngest goalkeeper in the list but she's proven more than reliable for Hoffenheim, finding another mid-table finish this year with the club.

 

41. Barbara Lorsheijd, Netherlands (ADO Den Haag / Netherlands) - 27
42. Erin Nayler, New Zealand (Bordeaux / France) - 26
43. Nicole Barnhart, USA (FC Kansas City / USA) - 36
44. Erina Yamane, Japan (Real Betis / Spain) - 27
45. Britt Eckerstrom, USA (Portland Thorns FC / USA) - 25
46. Lindsey Harris, USA (Klepp / Norway) - 24
47. Nora Gjøen, Norway (Sandviken / Norway) - 26
48. Neide Simões, Portugal (Valadares Gaia FC / Portugal) - 29
49. Audrey Baldwin, USA (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera / Israel) - 26
50. Daniele, Brazil (Santos / Brazil) - 25

Britt Eckerstrom has been a little streaky since filling in for an injured Adrianna Franch but has still kept the Thorns in playoff contention, earning back-to-back shutout wins this month. Lindsey Harris and Klepp have conceded ten goals in nine games and sit in third place in the Toppserien but need to climb over Nora Gjøen's Sandviken to qualify for Champions League play. Audrey Baldwin gave some good insight while writing from Women's Soccer Zone about her time in Kosovo and how she ended up in Israel.

 

Top 20 Goalkeepers Under 24

1. Sophie Baggaley, England (Bristol City / England) - 21
2. Carina Schlueter, Germany (SC Sand / Germany) - 21
3. Ellie Roebuck, England (Manchester City / England) - 18
4. Henrikka Mäkelä, Finland (PK-35 Vantaa / Finland) - 21
5. Anna Klink, Germany (Bayer Leverkusen / Germany) - 23
6. Mylene Chavas, France (Saint-Etienne / France) - 20
7. Lize Kop, Netherlands (Ajax / Netherlands) - 20
8. Merle Frohms, Germany (Wolfsburg / Germany) - 23
9. Emma Johansson, Sweden (Mallbacken / Sweden) - 21
10. Cecilie Fiskerstrand, Norway (Lillestrom / Norway) - 22

England's WSL has been exciting to watch a number of young goalkeepers get a chance to impress fans and coaches alike. Sophie Baggaley and Ellie Roebuck combined for 27 starts between the two and could soon find themselves in a similar spot as Mary Earps when a larger club wants a top end goalkeeper. Mylene Chavas rightfully won the 2016 U20 World Cup Golden Glove award and is set to return with France this cycle again, making France a strong candidate for winning the tournament. Cecilie Fiskerstrand has anchored Lillestrom's season and already has 14 caps to her name for Norway.

 

11. Solene Durand, France (Guingamp / France) - 23
12. Jane Campbell, USA (Houston Dash / USA) - 23
13. Elisa Launay, France (Lille / France) - 22
14. Aurora Mikalsen, Norway (Kolbotn / Norway) - 22
15. Emily Dolan, USA (Medyk Konin / Poland) - 23
16. Deborah Garcia, France (Rodez / France) - 23
17. Megan Walsh, England (Yeovil Town / England) - 23
18. Ayaka Yamashita, Japan (NTV Beleza / Japan) - 22
19. Casey Murphy, USA (Montpellier / France) - 22
20. Zecira Musovic, Sweden (Rosengard / Sweden) - 22

Jane Campbell has tried to take over the starting spot for the US but has struggled mightily with handling incoming aerial service. The USA might turn to Casey Murphy, who jumped fairly seamlessly from collegiate play in the states to France's Division 1. Japan's Ayaka Yamashita has appeared in international play 11 times, including the 2018 Algarve Cup as well as the recent Asian Cup, where Japan finished first and qualified for the World Cup.

 

For older rankings, you can see the 2017 list and the 2016 list for comparison.