cover photo belongs to the Denver Post
Back in 2015, Everybody Soccer predicted the 2018 depth chart for American goalkeeping. For predictions three years out, they did about as well as you would expect. Reviewing the predictions, there were some significant errors.
Predicting an aging goalkeeper's descent is anyone's best guess. Josh Wicks and Jon Busch were great examples of more goalkeepers who proved they had more gas in the tank than expected. Nick Rimando was also much too low on the list. As for young goalkeepers, they were largely underrated. Steffen and Horvath were far too low and are already in the national team picture while Kempin, McMath and Meara were too high. Overall, most of the names were in the right room, but it was the order that was the issue.
For the 2022 projections, the first hurdle is drawing a line on who will and won't be retired. Goalkeepers can certainly have longer careers, but currently MLS only has three goalkeepers over 35 years old. It's unlikely many will play that long but Brad Guzan and Tim Melia have the inside track at the moment. Hopefully Stefan Frei (36 by the 2022 World Cup), Steve Clark (36), and Bobby Shuttleworth (35) will all still be playing but it'll require a strong commitment from them to stay in the game. And of course there will likely be a young hotshot who is 15 or 16 right now, but will be training with a top club by the time they turn 20 or 21. Perhaps Nicolas Defreitas-Hansen at Everton or Quantrell Jones?
Many people are claiming the goalkeeper position for the USMNT is absent of any meaningful competition heading towards 2022. On the contrary, there are a number of outstanding prospects that are on pace to challenge for the number one spot. It could conceivably be the tightest goalkeeping competition the USMNT has ever witnessed with no clear standout but a number of quality goalkeepers vying for minutes.
Understanding that five years is a long time and anything can happen between now and then, here are 100 American goalkeepers to keep an eye out over the next five years.
1. Ethan Horvath, 27 - Club Brugge (Belgium.1)
2. Abraham Romero, 24 - Pachuca (Mexico.1)
3. Zack Steffen, 27 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
4. Eric Lopez, 23 - Los Angeles Galaxy II (USA.3)
5. Jeff Caldwell, 26 - Virginia (USA.N)
6. Brandon Austin, 23 - Tottenham (England.1)
7. Ben Lundgaard, 26 - Virginia Tech (USA.N)
8. JT Marcinkowski, 25 - Georgetown (USA.N)
9. Tim Melia, 35 - Sporting Kansas City (USA.1)
10. Will Pulisic, 24 - Duke (USA.N)
Bill says: Of any American goalkeeper, Horvath is easily playing at the highest level and the dividends are sure to pay off. Romero will likely end up getting cap-tied with Mexico, but for the moment he's still available for the USMNT, barring a one-time switch to play for the US. Caldwell, Lundgaard, Marcinkowski, and Pulisic lead a very strong collegiate group and are already ready to report to duty.
11. Eric Klenofsky, 27 - DC United (USA.1)
12. Jesse Gonzalez, 27 - FC Dallas (USA.1)
13. Bill Hamid, 31 - DC United (USA.1)
14. Jon Kempin, 29 - Los Angeles Galaxy (USA.1)
15. Joe Bendik, 33 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)
16. John McCarthy, 30 - Philadelphia Union (USA.1)
17. Brendan Moore, 30 - Rochdale (England.3)
18. Paul Christensen, 26 - University of Portland (USA.N)
19. Brad Guzan, 37 - Atlanta United (USA.1)
20. Cody Cropper, 29 - New England Revolution (USA.1)
Bill says: With all the instability in LA and DC, Kempin and Klenofsky are in great positions to take over their respective MLS sides in the next year or two. It sounds like Bill Hamid isn't re-signing with DC United and is headed towards Europe for 2018. Unfortunately he'll be on the wrong side of 30 by the time the next cycle comes around. Of course any goalkeeper can play at 31, but it's a little more of an uphill climb, especially for a goalkeeper who has struggled to stay healthy. Brendan Moore has yet to be a part of a winning team overseas but he's always been a commanding force in the box and it's why he's finding work in England.
21. Richard Sanchez, 28 - Chicago Fire (USA.1)
22. Alex Bono, 28 - Toronto FC (USA.1)
23. Adam Grinwis, 30 - St. Louis FC (USA.3)
24. Tyler Miller, 29 - Seattle Sounders (USA.3)
25. Bobby Edwards, 26 - Monmouth (USA.N)
26. Wade Hamilton, 27 - Portland Timbers II (USA.3)
27. Parker Siegfried, 25 - Ohio State (USA.N)
28. Zac MacMath, 30 - Colorado Rapids (USA.1)
29. Charlie Lyon, 30 - OC Blues FC (USA.3)
30. Spencer Richey, 30 - Vancouver Whitecaps (USA.1)
Bill says: It'll be an odd world where Zac MacMath isn't a young goalkeeper in MLS but 2022 will be just that. Alex Bono bounced back from a mediocre 2016 for a strong showing this year, getting the bulk of starting time in Toronto FC's historic run. With rumors that David Ousted isn't returning to Vancouver next year, Richey will throw his name into the hat for the starting spot in 2018. Lyon's lateral mobility makes him an interesting prospect moving forward and Richard Sanchez resurfaced in MLS this season, already owning a win under his belt.
31. Matt Bersano, 29 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
32. Todd Morton, 26 - Delaware (USA.N)
33. David Greczek, 27 - Sporting Kansas City (USA.1)
34. Kevin Silva, 24 - UCLA (USA.N)
35. Evan Louro, 26 - New York Red Bulls II (USA.3)
36. Ryan Meara, 31 - New York Red Bulls (USA.1)
37. Earl Edwards, 30 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)
38. Paul Blanchette, 28 - PEPO Lappeenranta (Finland.3)
39. Kyle Dal Santo, 27 - SIUE (USA.N)
40. Cody Mizell, 30 - Charlotte Independence (USA.3)
Bill says: The once heralded Ryan Meara could easily lose favor to up-and-coming goalkeeper Evan Louro, who skipped his last year at Michigan to pursue a career with RBNY. Blanchette has quietly earned 18 starts for third place PEPO. While Morton and Dal Santo are a little off the radar at the moment, they both possess the size and speed to excel at the next level, even if they don't hear their names called next SuperDraft. Kevin Silva is finishing his sophomore season with UCLA but don't expect him to stay all four years. He has the talent and prestige to follow in Louro's footsteps. And perhaps in 2022, FIFA will bump up Bersano's speed rating.
41. Benjamin Machini, 25 - RCD Mallorca (Spain.3)
42. Trevor Spangenberg, 31 - Puerto Rico FC (USA.2)
43. Brad Stuver, 31 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
44. Travis Worra, 29 - DC United (USA.1)
45. Logan Ketterer, 28 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
46. Adrian Zendejas, 26 - Sporting Kansas City (USA.1)
47. David Bingham, 32 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
48. Tyler Deric, 33 - Houston Dynamo (USA.1)
49. Brian Sylvestre, 29 - North Carolina FC (USA.3)
50. Andrew Tarbell, 28 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
Bill says: While the NASL may not be around by 2022, Spangenberg should be able to build off his strong performances with Puerto Rico to continue to compete for a starting spot somewhere. Similarly, Sylvestre has made positive strides with North Carolina FC and has past experiences in MLS that he may be able to build off of. Tarbell has played ten straight games for San Jose and is the frontrunner to start the 2018 season for the Earthquakes. With Deric's game built so much on his explosive reactions, it'll be interesting to see how he fares in his later years.
51. Bill Heavner, 28 - MLS Pool (USA.1)
52. Jake McGuire, 27 - Philadelphia Union (USA.1)
53. Jonathan Klinsmann, 25 - Hertha BSC (Germany.1)
54. Justin vom Steeg, 25 - Los Angeles Galaxy II (USA.3)
55. Tomas Gomez, 29 - Rochester Rhinos (USA.3)
56. Matt Turner, 28 - New England Revolution (USA.1)
57. Austin Rogers, 26 - FC Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia.1)
58. Sean Johnson, 33 - New York City FC (USA.1)
59. Eric Dick, 27 - Butler (USA.N)
60. Elliott Rubio, 25 - Utah Valley (USA.N)
Bill says: Vom Steeg has recently returned to California from playing abroad and LAG2 put him in goal quick, already earning four starts in the last month. Klinsmann is doing well to already be making inroads with Hertha Berlin. Rogers is taking an unconventional route by playing in Mongolia but he looks like he's getting his money's worth in the Eastern Hemisphere. Gomez has recently become a back-to-back USL Golden Glove winner.
61. Alec Kann, 31 - Atlanta United (USA.1)
62. Connor Sparrow, 28 - Real Salt Lake (USA.1)
63. Carlos dos Santos, 21 - Benfica (Portugal.1)
64. Nick Gardner, 26 - Denver (USA.N)
65. Matthew Jegier, 26 - Elon (USA.N)
66. Jimmy Hague, 27 - Michigan State (USA.N)
67. Michael Nelson, 27 - SMU (USA.N)
68. Bennett Sneddon, 25 - Los Angeles Galaxy II (USA.3)
69. Ryan Cretens, 26 - UNC Wilmington (USA.N)
70. Tim Dobrowolski, 28 - Louisville City FC (USA.3)
Bill says: Admittedly dos Santos is a bit of an surprise pick as he's currently the backup to the U17s. However it's hard not to see shades of David de Gea when you see the young Philadelphian move in goal. Dobrowolski played only two games in 2016 but did well to concede just 11 goals in his 12 appearances with Louisville this year. Garner continues to build off of last year's Goalkeeper of the Year performance in his conference, currently holding a .91 GAA. Young Galaxy goalkeeper Bennett Sneddon has room to grow but the twenty year old is developing well against USL competition.
71. Ben Hale, 24 - Furman (USA.N)
72. Andrew Putna, 27 - Real Monarchs (USA.1)
73. Andrew Shepherd, 27 - Western Michigan (USA.N)
74. Mason Stajduhar, 24 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)
75. Drake Callender, 24 - California (USA.N)
76. Trey Mitchell, 31 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USA.3)
77. Kris Devaux, 31 - Bryne FK (Norway.2)
78. Matt Lampson, 32 - Chicago Fire (USA.1)
79. Evan Finney, 27 - Penn State (USA.N)
80. Joe Willis, 33 - Houston Dynamo (USA.1)
Bill says: Hale had a wonderful start to the season, being named TopDrawerSoccer's national player of the week back in early September. Shepherd assisted the Michigan Bucks' US Open Cup run this spring, topping Indy Eleven to reach the third round. Mason Stajduhar is still searching for his first professional cap but he already has good experience with the U20s. Willis and Lampson will probably hold backup roles by 2022 but their consistency will be the main reason why they'll likely still be playing into their 30s.
81. William Yarbrough, 33 - Leon (Mexico.1)
82. Collin Partee, 27 - Loyola Marymount (USA.N)
83. Drew Romig, 24 - North Carolina (USA.N)
84. Josh Cohen, 29 - Phoenix Rising (USA.3)
85. Keith Cardona, 29 - Indy Eleven (USA.2)
86. Kyle Morton, 28 - Rochester Rhinos (USA.3)
87. Mike Lansing, 28 - Aalborg BK (Denmark.1)
88. Jimmy Slayton, 24 - Hartford (USA.N)
89. Alex Kapp, 27 - Minnesota United FC (USA.3)
90. Jimmy Maurer, 34 - New York Cosmos (USA.2)
Bill says: Many people want Yarbrough to re-enter the USMNT goalkeeping scene, as he's currently sitting top five in saves and clean sheets in the Liga MX's spring season. Unfortunately he'll on the wrong side of 30 by the World Cup. Partee has an option of signing as a Timbers homegrown after this fall. Romig has split time with freshman Alec Smir and junior James Pyle, making the goalkeeper situation in Chapel Hill easily the most competitive in the country.
91. Luis Barraza, 25 - Marquette (USA.N)
92. John Berner, 31 - Colorado Rapids (USA.3)
93. Rafael Diaz, 30 - New York Red Bulls II (USA.3)
94. Kris Schultz, 29 - Canterbury United (New Zealand.1)
95. Dakota Havlick, 25 - Santa Clara (USA.N)
96. James Pyle, 26 - North Carolina (USA.N)
97. Jeff Attinella, 33 - Portland Timbers (USA.1)
98. Brian Rowe, 33 - Los Angeles Galaxy (USA.1)
99. Mark Pais, 31 - Toronto FC (USA.1)
100. Jon Busch, 45 - Indy Eleven (USA.2)
Bill says: Attinella and Rowe enter 2018 nearing, or at, their peak but they only combine for just 100 MLS appearances in their 13 seasons as a professional. (Attinella also has 52 appearances in NASL action.) Continued development is hard to come by for any goalkeeper this late into their career. Barraza has a possibility of an homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake, if the decide to go that direction with the Marquette goalkeeper. Jon Busch should be nearing 700 games played by 2022.