Everybody Soccered - July 2015

Covered photo is from Self. I don't know what's going on in the picture


Eight yards out, this ball is routinely left by most goalkeepers for defenders to clear out on their own.

Eight yards out, this ball is routinely left by most goalkeepers for defenders to clear out on their own.

1. Guzan Leaves Gold Cup with Mixed Reviews - After conceding five goals in six games, CONCACAF rewarded Brad Guzan with the Golden Glove for the tournament. Statistically, it was an easy pick as Guzan had the lowest total of the top four nations but his performance in the semifinal match left some fans sour. After not coming out to collect a long throw-in in the first half, Jamaica took a 1-0 lead off a stunning header tucked back post. The frustration towards Guzan was only intensified as Guzan was called for a handball minutes later, setting up a free kick to put Jamaica up 2-0 just ten minutes before half time.

Guzan is unfortunately a victim of bad luck. On the first goal, the header is taken from eight yards out, a gray area for goalkeepers to challenge the cross or not. Yes, there's enough time for Guzan to chase the ball down but if anything goes wrong in the collision with two men his own size, he's far away from the goal. Retreating to the line in itself isn't a bad move as the shot turning to a goal is a low percentage play. Only the perfect header, which Mattocks pulls off, will score over the 6'4" John Brooks. The goal looks bad on Guzan's part for not pressuring the shot, but if he goes for the punch and can't get through the two players for a clean punch, he could easily be in a messier situation.

John Brooks shrinking under the free kick that scores for Jamaica's second goal.

John Brooks shrinking under the free kick that scores for Jamaica's second goal.

The following handball is a call rarely seen yet somehow extremely fitting for CONCACAF. Should it have been called? While it's a rule, it's inconsistently called and the punishment doesn't fit the crime. A throw that creeped over a line by a few inches (on a pass that didn't even connect to an American player) is punished with a free kick from 18 yards out? The call is harsh and overall unnecessary but insult is added to injury when Jamaica drills the free kick home over a shy wall. Ideally, the wall would jump in the situation to cover the crossbar but the 6'4" center back fails to use his size yet again, squeezing himself under the driven shot that just skims the rooftop of the goal. Had the wall jumped, or even if Brooks had gone to his tippy toes, the shot doesn't make it on frame.

Despite Brian Strauss writing about Guzan's seizing the chance to become USMNT's number one, Klinsmann is being quiet on who the number one will be moving forward. Tim Howard is expected to push for the starting spot again but even timing hasn't been great for him. Howard announced (on the same day as the Jamaica match) that he was ready to come back to the national team. Howard later cleared up that he has been saying the same answer for a year now and that the timing was just a little unfortunate, not trying to imply Guzan isn't capable of the job.

Guzan is the most technically sound goalkeeper since Brad Friedel and should be rewarded with the number one position. After making multiple saves throughout the Gold Cup to keep the US in position to be in the semis, the Jamaica game should not be used to make a sweeping judgement on Guzan as a goalkeeper. Not to mention, Tim Howard is on the decline after a rocky season with Everton. Sticking with Guzan will pay off in the short and long term.

Aside from the National Team, Guzan has been getting some mixed messages on his next season with Aston Villa. Originally there was a vote of confidence with Shay Given moving to Stoke then Guzan was rumored to be on the way out. Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood quelled fans, reassuring Guzan was going to be the number one for next season.


2. Ethan Horvath Shines as Champions League Qualification Begins - USYNT goalkeeper Ethan Horvath has elevated to the starting role at Molde FK after previous starter, Ørjan Nyland, left for Germany. ASN talked with Horvath about his omission from the U20 World Cup and becoming a starter for his club. Horvath only turned twenty last month but he is off to a bright start.

Already early into the season, Horvath has had some interesting matches. We had the rare treat of two American goalkeepers facing off overseas earlier in the month as Horvath's Molde topped Quentin Westberg and Sarpsborg 08 4-1, including an assist for Horvath on the final goal. (Highlights here.) Recently, Molde earned a 1-1 draw away against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifying match. They play the second leg of the qualification at home on August 4th.

Horvath has been the recipient of Olympic buzz, some wondering if he could snag the back up position for the Olympic team. Regardless of how unlikely it would be for Molde to release him for a non-FIFA sanctioned tournament, it's even more unlikely that he would leapfrog older goalkeepers, even if Horvath is playing in the Champions League this year. He's just too young to be playing that high up in a cycle. He will most certainly become a quality goalkeeper, but at twenty (essentially starting his sophomore year in college) he's not there yet.

(Horvath has been occasionally blogging for Reusch, which you can read here.)


3. Only Shooting Stars Break the Mold - Several leagues announced their all-star selections. MLS named Nick Rimando, David Ousted, and Clint Irwin to square off against Tottenham. Rimando made two great saves in the first half while Ousted held down the fort in the second, preserving a 2-1 win for MLS. (Irwin did not play.)

MLS festivities included a MLS Homegrown game, featuring Columbus Crew's Matt Lampson and FC Dallas' Jesse Gonzalez on the roster. Gonzalez started the game and Lampson stayed in for the second half and penalty shootout, which the homegrowns lost. (Highlights here.) Gonzalez, a Mexican-American, has played with the Mexican USYNTs and while he is not technically locked in, it would be a surprise to see him switch to the US.

Other notable all-star selections from across the country:

Matt Williams (GPS Portland Phoenix)
Yuta Nomura (Springfield Synergy)
Michael Yantz (SW Florida Adrenaline)
Matt Grosey (Kitsap Pumas)

American Soccer League
Tony Halterman (Evergreen Diplomats)

W League
Rachelle Beanlands (Laval Comets)
Britt Eckerstrom (Colorado Pride)
Robyn Horner-Jones (Charlotte Lady Eagles)

Developmental Academy
Mason Stadjuhar (Orlando City SC)
Marcel DaSilva (Shattuck-Saint Mary’s)
JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Trey Miller (New England Revolution)
Ben Hale (FC Dallas)
Pierce Ashworth (Pateadores)

(WPSL, NPSL selections have not been announced yet.)


4. American Goalkeepers on the Move Overseas:


5. U23 College Camp Called In -  As Olympic qualifying approaches, Herzog has called for a college-based combine to look at some outside options for the Olympic pool. Last month I weighed in on who I thought were the front runners were and boy was I wrong. Of the four - Wade Hamilton (Cal Poly), Jonathan Klinsmann (Cal), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara), and Andrew Tarbell (Clemson) - only Tarbell is without any USYNT experience. So while it's good to see him getting a look, both Klinsmann and McIntosh are out of their depth here. Hamilton can be given a solid argument for, but like I listed in my article for Soccer Over There, there are several better options getting overlooked.


Credit to Soundersfc.com

Credit to Soundersfc.com

6. Tyler Miller Returns to Seattle - After an unsuccessful run in Germany, Tyler Miller returned to sign with USL Sounders. Miller spoke a little bit about the tough time in Germany and coming back to the team who originally drafted Miller last January. While Miller had some time with the U23 US team overseas, it's hard to tell what Seattle is going to do with both him and Charlie Lyon, who has been playing very well this season. As of right now, Charlie Lyon has moved up to the first team since Stefan Frei got injured earlier this month. Once Frei comes back and Lyon bumps back down, I would imagine we'd see Lyon and Miller rotate games as both goalkeepers are more than capable of playing in USL.


7. US Open Cup Heroics -  John "Clutch" McCarthy was named the US Open Cup Player of the Round for his penalty heroics. This is nothing new for McCarthy, who also knocked out his old club, Rochester Rhinos, in an earlier round in similar fashion. While McCarthy has struggled to earn back the starting spot, with Philadelphia leaning towards Brian Sylvestre as of late (not to mention Andre Blake is still in the picture), he has really thrived in Open Cup play. The Union take on the Chicago Fire on the 12th, which recently saw Jon Busch earn the ninth recorded goalkeeper assist in modern era of the US Open Cup.

Thanks to   Josh Hakala at thecup.us for the information.

Thanks to Josh Hakala at thecup.us for the information.

Mildly related: Once a Metro published a touching video for every goalkeeper to play for the Philadelphia Union.


8. MLS Incorrectly Suspends Konopka for a Game - Toronto FC goalkeeper Chris Konopka was suspended for one game for his slide against Andoni Iraola. MLS doesn't go into detail what Konopka did wrong, nor did the announcers find anything wrong with Konopka's slide at the time, so it's a little confusing what Konopka exactly did wrong. He challenges the ball cleanly with a compact body frame. His legs and arms aren't in an awkward position that could endanger anyone and he is not using his body as a weapon. On top of that, Iraola has plenty of time to jump over Konopka, which he does, and land safely. Perhaps the most confusing thing is that MLS is implying that Konopka should have chosen a different action, which is unknown to anyone of what that would be. Hopefully we do not see an overreaction by MLS to suspend goalkeepers being justly aggressive on 1v1 situations.


9. MLS Salaries Released - Nothing really to see here outside that there is only one pool goalkeeper listed: Trey Mitchell at four cents over $50,000. Los Angeles had originally reported they signed him back in March but he is technically a pool goalkeeper training with the Galaxy. Either way, the end of the MLS pool goalkeeper is surely near. Every team has a USL alliance now so the emergency call-up can be relegated to a loan. I don't have a complete list, but I would have to think the most successful pool goalkeeper is Tim Melia, the current starter for Sporting Kansas City. The pool keeper had its purpose but now that the league is more stable they can do without it.


10. Angel Alvarez Finishes as Runner-Up - Angel Alvarez and LVSA 97 Red lost last weekend to FC Golden State White 2-1. Alvarez was compared to Nick Rimando by Top Drawer Soccer, which I assume is a great article because there is a paywall on the writeup. You can watch highlights from the game here, where he makes multiple saves, and read an old interview with the dual national's interesting backstory here.


Lastly, Everybody Soccer had multiple things pushed out this month. I interviewed Mallori Lofton-Malachi, an outstanding goalkeeper whose career was cut short by a severe concussion. The USWNT GK Pool was updated and expanded to seventy goalkeepers. The amateurs were treated with a ranking of the top college goalkeepers in each class for this upcoming NCAA season. And there's my monthly post on ASA where I break down the inefficiencies of the GmxG stat and give MLS GOTY Power Rankings. 

Not written by my own hand but still worth taking a look, SASH now has bios up for every player in the US Soccer Hall of Fame. They were all written by soccer historian Roger Allaway.

And American goalkeepers did very well in The Guardian's top twenty-five of best American soccer players ever.


Everybody Soccered - June 2015

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.

Libby Stout weighed in on the team before the tournament started but it's still a good read. Steven Goff wrote about the "quiet" World Cup Solo has had so far, in multiple ways.

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.)

Both Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel have been encouraging of Zack Steffen recently. Keller went into long form while Friedel kept it under 140.

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.

Michelle Betos joined the exclusive goalie goal scorers club with this sick header. A youth goalkeeper had actually done the same a week earlier, while others tried their best to imitate Betos.

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:


And here are a bunch of saves for you:


Lastly, John McCarthy has been doing some really great charity work, including donating his time and hair.

Everybody Soccered - May 2015

Cover photo from Sounders FC

May 30th

The U20s started off their World Cup a rough with a miscue from goalkeeper Zack Steffen but rallied to win 2-1. The cameraman's shakiness ruins the gif so if you couldn't tell, Steffen comes for a ball too late and proves that if you can't win a ball immediately in the air, just stay on your line. Don't come out and try to fix your hesitation. If he stays back, there's a good chance it gets cleared out or he can make the next save. Still, he had some really awesome American gloves. Who knew Under Armour had a great goalkeeper glove design team? 

Another not-so-great conceded goal on a USYNT goalkeeper was Cody Cropper's slip up in the U23s 3-1 win over the Netherlands. A bending shot from distance gave him trouble as he dove to his left trying to hold it. Yes, it's a bad goal, but the problem is not with his hand strength but in his pre-catch arm motion. Watch as his hands swing back then upwards when all that is needed is a simple raise of the arms to catch the shot. Goalkeepers should always look to "minimize excessive movement" and here Cropper does not do that. If his hands are out in front of him at the start then there's a better chance his hands are stronger because he only had to move his arms to the correct position, not his arms and hands.

In more positive news for the youngster, he is drawing some interest from MLS teams, supposedly New England being one of them although some are suspect he comes back to MLS at all. Outside of New England, it's really hard to say which teams are best suited for him as half the league aren't in great standings with their goalkeeper core and could use a young backup to develop.

Hope Solo had some really interesting words on the upcoming Women's World Cup and its connection to the domestic league here in the states. 

The state of women’s soccer isn’t reliant on our success at the World Cup. In 2003 we were hoping that the league would take off if we won the World Cup, but at the end of the day we learned that longevity in the women’s game is a slow growth process. So there is no pressure on us to win for the state of women’s soccer. The pressure on us is to win because we want to win.

Montreal's Evan Bush had a highlight reel-worthy save last week.

Last goalkeepings of the month:

  • Chicago followed up Jon Busch's 300th appearance with a couple nice articles where he talks about the milestone and his relationship with Sean Johnson.
  • Sporting Kansas City has terminated their contract with Luis Marin, who was dealing with off the field situations. Jon Kempin has been called back from his loan to San Antonio. I'd expect him to get maybe one or two starts before the end of the year. Tim Melia is playing well so I don't see it being more than that.
  • Alex Bono took a shot to the face against Manchester City and someone took a picture at just the right time. Here it is in GIF form.
  • John McCarthy and Brian Sylvestre are working hard in Philadelphia.
  • Brad Stuver shined in a friendly and was overwhelmingly voted Man of the Match. He had a awkward but tough save and almost scored goal at the end of the match
  • Josh Deaver says William Yarbrough is in for the next USMNT matches against the Netherlands and Germany. I can't find another link for this but he seems like a trustworthy guy.
  • Will Hesmer appeared on TV to discuss FIFA's financial situation.
  • Jeff Caldwell talked about his journey to the U20 team and the importance of the college game.

Lastly, I'll be off the radar a little more than usual this summer so here's the current MLS GSAR standings which probably won't be updated until the fall.


May 26th

Cody Cropper is out at Southampton. At twenty-two years old, it's easy to associate a goalkeeper's typically long career with an equally increasing developing curve. However, goalkeepers at twenty-two are largely set in stone and truly a goalkeeper at twenty-five is basically the final product. Think back to Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson a couple years ago. Yes, they've improved but it's not like they're completely different goalkeepers. So Cropper, at his age, essentially has three years to show his true potential. I wrote back in April about how he is showing some improvement but is it too little too late? If Southampton really believed Cropper was more than MLS-quality, it would make sense they would have held on to him. The door is closing quickly on Cropper and the USYNT goalkeeper is going to either end up like Keller/Howard/Meola or the other guys who we quickly forget about.

In brighter news for Cropper, he joined Tyler Miller and Charlie Horton on the U23 roster for the Toulon Tournament. The U23s kickoff the tournament against France Wednesday, May 27th.

I interviewed Ashkan Khosravi, who is a recent dual-citizen of both the US and Iran. It's a really interesting story of leaving home at sixteen to come to the states and play, instead of the typical reverse. Khosravi will be a senior at UC Riverside next fall.

Tim Howard was (oof) named the 20th best EPL goalkeeper while Brad Guzan ended up at seventh. Guzan was sat for the last three games in the season for late struggling performances but, like I wrote for SOT's XI selection, it was Guzan who kept Aston Villa afloat for much of the season in the first place. And even if there are reports that Aston Villa is looking at the possibility of a new goalkeeper, he was the best goalkeeper overseas, after Katie Fraine of course.

Goalimpact has joined forces with Premier Insider, which means we can now see Howard'sFriedel's and Guzan's Goalimpact rating, which is my favorite player rating at the moment. (And here is Kasey Keller's, for reference.) Ironically, it sounds like Brad Friedel was going to play Tottenham's last game of the season but was held out due to stitches in his shin. Nevertheless, Friedel was upbeat about his time overseas.

Various goalie news around the globe:

  • Jon Busch played his 300th MLS game, making him the fourth goalkeeper to ever do so in MLS history. (Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando, and Joe Cannon being the others.) Here is an article on Busch's Saves for SEALS program, which helps families who have lost someone in military combat.
  • Jimmy Maurer is now the all-time shutout leader in the modern NASL era. I can't find who was previously in first.
  • Top Drawer covered Zack Steffen ahead of the U20 World Cup and they also named Evan Louro as a player to watch in PDL this season
  • The Premier League put out some highlights of Friedel in honor of his retirement. Tottenham gave him a nice sending off.
  • Ethan Horvath earned his first league start and shutout. (A save from the game can be seen below.) It's good to see that Molde has a clear desire and use for him and reason to pull him from the U20 World Cup roster.
  • Calle Brown joins the exclusive group of goalkeepers who were backups their entire collegiate career and then later earned a professional start, which he earned with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Honestly I can't think of another goalkeeper who did the same so perhaps it is just a group of one.
  • Cody Mizell is going to second tier Iceland to play this year.
  • The highlight bank is finally up and running again

And to end off in style, here are a bunch of gifs and videos of American goalkeepers making cool saves:


May 15th

Well I said the most notable announcement was the U20 roster but I hadn't seen Friedel's retirement announcement at that point so I take it back. With him moving to the booth for Fox Sports, it was all but official until now. ESPN covered the highlights of Friedel's career. There were many congratulations, including one from Zac MacMath and one from Edwin van der Sar himself, but I though Matt Pyzdrowski summed it up pretty well:

The U20 roster now has another collegiate player. Ethan Horvath was not released by Molde and Thomas Olsen, University of San Diego, will now take his place. Horvath is a regular on the bench, including some appearances in cup matches. Caldwell is now the number two behind Steffen.

The US Open Cup kicked off their first round Wednesday night. Top goalkeeper performances include:

  • Quinn McAnanery's shootout win for Lansing United, which can be re-watched by a great camera angle
  • Greg Hartley also performed well in Chattanooga's comeback shootout win and had a nice save early on.
  • Zac Gibbens continued Harpo's FC's cinderella run with a, surprise surprise, penalty shootout win that only Scott Sterling could top. (Watch the saves here at 2:52:25)
  • Everybody Soccer favorites Paul Blanchette and Justin Vom Steeg moved their teams on to the second round. Blanchette held a 2-1 win for Des Moines and Vom Steeg made a save in the final round for Ventura County Fusion's shootout.

All-in-all there weren't that many D1 goalkeepers playing in the first round. I imagine finals was a problem but it was odd to see so many absences. Perhaps more will appear in the next round, once school has finally ended.


May 14th

Not a lot of action in the first half of May. Easily the most notable announcement was that the three goalkeepers for the U20 World Cup roster have been selectedZack Steffen (Freiburg), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), and Jeff Caldwell (Virginia) are the three, in order of starting likeliness. Caldwell has the distinct honor of being the only college player on the roster, including field players.

As far as things I wrote, there is my last article on Paste for some time about why a goalkeeper will never win the Ballon d'Or again and my second monthly write up on ASA that isn't too nice for MLS goalkeepers to read. On a positive note, the goalkeepers played much better this past weekend so maybe they heard what was coming for them. And of course there's the top 100 list of women goalkeepers.

The Union signed yet another goalkeeper. They brought in Brian Sylvestre on a short loan and started him last weekend. Sylvestre was in training camp with Philly before the season started so there's that connection. However it is odd they're calling up a USL backup and not a starter somewhere else. Perhaps they are thinking long term. Sylvestre didn't concede any atrocious goals last weekend, a plus for Philadelphia. John McCarthy, who is out with concussion symptoms at the moment (possibly from this), talked about his jump from Rochester to Philadelphia.

Minnesota is struggling with their goalkeeper position as well. Northern Pitch goes into depth between the Cameroonian international, Sammy Ndjock, and American Mitch Hildebrandt. Both display the needed athleticism but are having specific problems on the pitch.

#gkunion alum Josh Lambo signed with the San Diego Chargers. Lambo spent time with U17 and U20 US teams as a goalkeeper but never suited up for FC Dallas. After kicking with Texas A&M last year, he has now made the jump from professional soccer to collegiate football to professional football.

A plethora of random goalkeeper hits:

  • Nick Rimando hit 100 wins and someone compiled his best saves with RSL.
  • Toronto's Chris Konopka recorded a shot with this header last weekend.
  • Travis Worra spoke about his first MLS start with DC United.
  • Keith Cardona started for Indy 11. Cardona has taken an odd journey thus far, going from starter at Maryland to backup then to Austria and then landing in Indiana. It's good to see him back on his feet.
  • Ethan Horvath and Quentin Westberg notched shutouts for their respective Norwegian clubs in Cup action recently. Can't find any video but maybe they'll get a start later down the line.
  • Even though he didn't play in the second leg, Evan Bush did earn Golden Gloves for his performance throughout the CONCACAF Champions League.
  • Chris Seitz finally met the recipient of his bone marrow transplant. I caught the halftime interview on the FC Dallas game and the man, who is incidentally an FC Dallas fan now, was extremely thankful. It's a great story and a true act of selflessness on Seitz's part.
  • Tally Hall should be getting his first game in the next seven to ten days.
  • This doesn't really have anything to do with American soccer but I just really enjoyed it.
  • And Sean Johnson is a Jedi, apparently.

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.