The Next Step: Three American Goalkeepers Weigh in on Life Overseas

This week Everybody Soccer is highlighting three American goalkeepers who are currently playing overseas. All three have spent multiple years in Europe as they continue their journeys to reach the highest levels in professional soccer. Each goalkeeper opens up about the culture surrounding their club, how they’ve improved since leaving college, and their individual aspirations going forward.

Emily Dolan, Real Betis (Spain)

“I’m a completely different goalkeeper from when I played in college. Outside of playing for Lancaster Inferno in the summers, I really missed out on four years of development, gaining experience, and building confidence. So when I came to Europe, it was basically like being thrown in the deep end.”

Click here to read more from Dolan

Photo from  Emily Dolan

Photo from Emily Dolan

Lindsey Harris, Klepp (Norway)

“I have to admit, I would be disappointed if I never started in the NWSL and had lots of success there. I mean who wouldn’t want to play in their home country, possibly even home state, in front of your family and friends who have watched you grow into the player you are today?”

Click here to read more from Harris

Photo from  UNC

Photo from UNC

Emily Armstrong, Sundsvalls (Sweden)

“In my fifth-grade yearbook, I stated that my favorite food was grilled cheese and that I wanted to be a professional soccer player when I grew up. To be honest, though, it really wasn’t until my college career ended that I realized playing professionally was what I wanted.“

Click here to read more from Armstrong

Photo credit: Ruben Lamers

Photo credit: Ruben Lamers

2018 NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge

If you're on your phone, click here to see the standings in a pdf.

The Deadline to play is
1:00 PM (ET) Thursday, November 15th.

Welcome back to Everybody Soccer's fifth annual NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge. Last year Top Drawer Soccer’s own JR Eskilson and Travis Clark finished first and third, respectively, showing off their dominance in collegiate soccer expertise.

2018 returns and all the scores are reset as we gear up for a new bracket challenge. Admission is free and the only prize is bragging rights. Student-athletes and the elderly are all welcome to play!

What Is the NCAA Tournament?

Every year NCAA soccer concludes their season with a 48 team tournament. 24 conference representatives are selected by either winning their respective conference or tournament. The remaining 24 spots are filled by teams earning at-large bids, regardless of conference affiliation. The first round features 32 teams facing off while the second round introduces the 16 seeded teams who were given a bye past the first round.

Click here to see the 2018 bracket
A printable version can be found

What Is the Bracket Challenge?

The bracket challenge is a free-to-enter competition with no prize to allow student-athletes to play. Simply make your predictions on each game in the national tournament then submit it before the first game kicks off, on Thursday afternoon. The winner will be determined by who scores the most points. You can score a maximum of 176 points total (32 each round, except the first which is only 16). The rounds are weighted as such:

Round 1 - 1 point (16 games)
Round 2 - 2 point (16 games)
Round 3 - 4 points (8 games)
Quarterfinals - 8 points (4 games)
Semifinals - 16 points (2 games)
Final - 32 points (1 game)

How to Play

There are a couple of different ways to submit a bracket.

1. Fancy, Interactive Google Doc - I have created a fancy interactive tool through Google Docs but unfortunately does not work on phones. (You can only use it on a desktop or laptop computer.) 

  • Click here to go to view the bracket template.

  • You will not be able to edit the spreadsheet unless you download the document. Underneath "2018 NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge Template" in the top left, click

    • File > Download As > Microsoft Excel (.xslx)

  • The spreadsheet will download to your computer. Fill out column D, the blue and green cells. The rest of the document will automatically update itself. The spreadsheet has formulas to double check accuracy and spelling, so make sure you end up with smiley faces in the purple column.

  • In the green column at the top, enter your name, state or country you represent, bracket name (can be anything serious or silly), and your twitter handle to appear on the scoreboard.

  • Email me the file at: or tweet me @letsallsoccer

  • If something goes terribly wrong or you mess up the document, just go back to the link to re-download the document and start over.


2. Edit a Blank Bracket and Send It Over - You can either download the bracket and edit it on your phone or computer. The bracket is fairly clean so writing on it may be easier for you, depending on your phone. You can email me the final product at or tweet a picture @letsallsoccer.

Click here to view the printable bracket


3. Draw It on a Napkin, Etc. - If you're having trouble downloading the bracket, you can always write down all your picks on a napkin, take a picture of it, and send it my way. It doesn't matter if you write it in crayon or spell it out with macaroni art, as long as I can read each pick, you're in!



Send in brackets to:

Deadline Is 1:00 PM (ET)
Thursday, November 15th.



RPIs and Schedules - Dan Gaucho has a great site for all your RPI and scheduling needs.

Media CoverageTop Drawer Soccer has multiple articles on the tournament, rankings, and players to watch for.

History - Take a look at each school's history with the tournament. Teams were given points for how many rounds they went (Round Pts) and if they held a seed (Seed Pts).  "+/-" is gauging if they overperform or underperform in the tournament given their seed history.

Lastly, here are a few stats on how far average seeds advance in the tournament. Second seeds are the most successful while 14 seeds (who start in the second round) only advance half the time.

Performance by Seed
avg number of rounds completed, 1 to 7

1 - 4.2
2 - 5.7
3 - 4.3
4 - 3.4
5 - 3.8
6 - 3.3
7 - 3.3
8 - 3.9
9 - 3.5
10 - 3.0
11 - 3.1
12 - 3.1
13 - 2.9
14 - 2.5
15 - 2.6
16 - 3.1
unseeded - 1.7

cover photo belongs to Tony Quinn

The Top Ten Goalkeepers at the 2018 World Cup

While goalkeeping wasn't the highlight of the World Cup final, there were many outstanding performances in the lead up to the final game. Some goalkeepers reserved their best for penalty shootouts to pad their highlight reels, some were consistently aiding their team regardless of the scoreline, and some goalkeepers managed to undermine their previous performances by watching multiple shots slip by them in the World Cup Final. In spite of the mixed performances, here are the top ten goalkeepers from the 2018 World Cup.


Photo belongs to Imago

Photo belongs to Imago

1. Yann Sommer (Switzerland)

While Sommer technically did have an own goal off a late penalty in a meaningless group game, he more than redeemed himself with a strong performance against Brazil and Serbia. He would go on to pull off a wonderful sprawling save off a low header in the 6th minute to keep Costa Rica out and another similar save stopping a bouncing ball to the backpost against Sweden. Sommer, barely standing at 6’0”, is a great example of a goalkeeper who can cover the entire goal width without relying on his size. The tournament's Golden Glove recipient typically has to finish in the top four but it was Sommer who stood high above the rest. 


Photo belongs to AFP

Photo belongs to AFP

2. Igor Akinfeev (Russia)

Probably the highlight of Akinfeev’s tournament was outclassing David de Gea in the penalty shootout, winning Man of the Match for his heroics in the round of sixteen matchup. He would go on perform admirably against Croatia, saving a penalty in the second round of the shootout, and despite being down 2-0 in Russia’s last group game, Akinfeev managed to pull off a wonderful tophand save on a blistering strike from Cristian Rodríguez. A classic strong, tall goalkeeper, Akinfeev did well to represent the host country by limiting mistakes and rising to the occasion more than once to help Russia notch their best World Cup finish since 1982.



3. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

There was a lot of talk about goals being scored in the final minutes this World Cup but Courtois reversed the script when Neymar attempted to level the score in the quarterfinal matchup. It’s hard to imagine any goalkeeper shorter than 6’6” making that tophand save. Earlier in the match, Courtois pulled off two good close-range shots in quasi-1v1 situations, simply by holding his ground and not rushing out blind, but it was the flicked near post header that bested Courtois against France. It was a tough post-to-post run Courtois was trying to make but there’s no doubt he would want a second chance at the goal. If he gets his feet set quicker instead of taking a big hop into place, he can parry the shot away. Still, the Golden Glove winner can look back proudly on his performances as large contributions to Belgium's best World Cup run to date.



4. Jordan Pickford (England)

Most people were talking Pickford’s passing ability heading into the tournament but it was his clutch saving prowess that led the English to a fourth place finish. Against Colombia - in extra time, no less - it was the unbelievable Gumby save where he pulled the ball out of the corner. Against Sweden, he shut the door twice on the Swedes on two well-hit shots inside the 18. And against Croatia, Pickford exchanged some not-so-nice words after denying a point bank save from Mandžukić. It’s hard to imagine this was the same Pickford who started for Everton and conceded 58 goals last season, eight most in the Premier League. Blues fans will surely have different expectations going into this fall after such a wonderful performance this summer.


5. Eiji Kawashima (Japan)

There’s some sort of irony with Kawashima’s best game coming in a 1-0 loss but the Japanese goalkeeper couldn’t allow another goal if Japan wanted to play in the knockout round. In the first half, Kawashima himself ended up in the back of the net batting a flicker header towards the back post back into play. (VAR would later verify the immaculate save.) Then in the second half, Kawashima would pull off an equally impressive strong palm on a deflected cross, saving his defender from scoring an own goal and keeping Japan's hopes of entering the next round alive. While Kawashima’s performances in the other games were largely forgettable, the Poland game will surely be a bright spot on the 35-year-old’s tenure with Japan.


Photo belongs to Mexsport

Photo belongs to Mexsport

6. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

A good game against Germany, a soft goal against Sweden, and a great game against Brazil add up to find Ochoa at the six slot. The most polarizing goalkeeper on the list, Ochoa somehow always matches the level of competition. Ochoa kicked off his World Cup with a shutout against Germany, highlighted by a topnotch free kick-denying save, and ended his tournament with a hard-fought 2-0 loss to Brazil. Although it was a loss, Ochoa continued his fiction-esque level of play against Brazil, building off of the 2007 Copa America win and the 2014 World Cup tie against Brazil. Ochoa’s success doesn’t make sense from a technical standpoint and his future with the national team seems to be running out, but viewers can’t deny he had another clutch tournament performance for the Mexican national team.


7. Jo Hyeon-Woo (South Korea)

Jo entered the tournament as a relatively unknown goalkeeper playing somewhere in South Korea and only six national caps to his name yet somehow walked away from the tournament with a stellar performance against Sweden and a shutout against Germany. The 26-year-old showcased a really fun spring to his leap and quick footwork to frustrate opposing offenses. He plays with a fairly high line and while I’m not sure how that’s going to fit into his game - he’s not exactly the tallest goalkeeper out there - his agility helps him cover ground that lumbering goalkeepers can’t.


8. Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)

It hurts my heart to have him this low on the list. His string of penalty saves against Croatia paired with continual shots of his father cheering from the press box was exactly the snowballing ability I wrote about before the tournament started. Unfortunately, an in-game penalty save and two more in the shootout weren't enough to get Denmark through to the quarterfinals. He lands at number eight for having an otherwise quiet World Cup but the main highlight to take away from his World Cup was that Kasper Schmeichel officially stepped out of his father’s shadow and put to rest the idea that he was just riding his father's fame, even though it felt like the magic ended well before midnight in Denmark's World Cup run.


9. Manuel Neuer (Germany)

It wasn't exactly a world beater that bested Neuer in the opening game against Mexico but it was Neuer standing on his head that helped propel his nation to victory against Sweden, highlighted by a strong palm before halftime to parry away a drifting header. Even though his last touch was a turnover that led to the final goal against Germany - somehow 80 yards upfield, of course - we saw flashes of the four-time IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper that hopefully provided enough nostalgia for fans wanting to see the Bayern keeper excel on the international stage at least one more time. Neuer won't look back fondly on the tournament and it's clear the injury didn't help his World cup preparations, but all-in-all it was a positive individual performance, even if it's overshadowed by the rest of his career.


10. Hugo Lloris (France)

Ahead of the tournament, many had some serious questions about Lloris’ ability to handle the ball at his feet and somehow Lloris proved them right yet still won the World Cup. Lloris was perhaps one goalkeeping error away from winning the Golden Glove, an award typically given to the top team with the goalkeeper who didn't make any dumb mistakes, but he graciously let Courtois take home the honor. It's easy to get caught up in the blunder but Lloris did his part to help France reach the Final. To his credit, he basically did nothing all game against Uruguay and Belgium yet pulled off two saves that were destined for the back of the net. It's a little bit of a head scratcher that he was able to maintain enough focus to make immaculate saves on a moments notice yet botch a stupid step over in the most important game of his career but it's Lloris who has a World Cup medal to his name at the end of the day.

Top 100 American Goalkeepers - April 2018

It's been a while since our last update so I suppose it's fair to have seen so many names move around. Every spring there are few guarantees on how goalkeepers will enter the season and 2018 is no exception. Most notably Tyler Miller and Matt Turner have exceeded expectations and presented strong cases as why they're more than just dependable backups.

Only twelve of the top 100 goalkeepers aren't playing in the US, although goalkeepers playing stateside has been a growing trend for the pbuschast few years. There aren't many goalkeepers on the list currently playing in Europe but the likes of Jonathan Klinsmann (20) and Brandon Austin (19) should start to make waves for themselves in the next couple years.


1. Tim Melia, 31 - Sporting Kansas City (USA.1)
2. Brad Guzan, 33 - Atlanta United (USA.1)
3. Luis Robles, 33 - New York Red Bulls (USA.1)
4. Joe Bendik, 29 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)
5. Tim Howard, 39 - Colorado Rapids (USA.1)
6. Stefan Frei, 32 - Seattle Sounders (USA.1)
7. Bill Hamid, 27 - FC Midtjylland (Denmark.1)
8. Jimmy Maurer, 30 - FC Dallas (USA.1)
9. Zack Steffen, 23 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
10. Tyler Miller, 25 - Los Angeles FC (USA.1)

Bill says: 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Tim Melia, retains the crown after just being placed on MLS's Team of the Week for his ten save performance. Robles did more than his part in guiding the Red Bulls to a semi-final run in the CONCACAF Champions League. Hamid recently debuted for his new club, taking part in 2-1 win in the Danish Cup quarterfinal. Maurer has quietly filled in extremely well for injured Jesse Gonzalez, conceding only three goals in four games for FC Dallas. Despite being Zlatan'd, Miller has had an outstanding start to the season, making Sounders fans disappointed to see him leave during the expansion draft.


11. Alex Bono, 24 - Toronto FC (USA.1)
12. Steve Clark, 32 - DC United (USA.1)
13. Bobby Shuttleworth, 30 - Minnesota United FC (USA.1)
14. William Yarbrough, 29 - Leon (Mexico.1)
15. Sean Johnson, 28 - New York City FC (USA.1)
16. Joe Willis, 29 - Houston Dynamo (USA.1)
17. Jeff Attinella, 29 - Portland Timbers (USA.1)
18. Ethan Horvath, 22 - Club Brugge (Belgium.1)
19. Chris Seitz, 31 - Houston Dynamo (USA.1)
20. Alex Horwath, 31 - Real Salt Lake (USA.1)

Bill says: It's hard to pin down Alex Bono's ceiling but if he keeps making saves like these, he may not be in MLS too much longer. Yarbrough was recently dropped from the first team selection after maintaining only two clean sheets this year. Matt Pzydrowski recently published a piece on Sean Johnson's return to form and why he's starting to perform with more consistency. Horvath hasn't played for Club Brugge since November of last year and will most likely move elsewhere after the end of the season.


21. David Bingham, 28 - Los Angeles Galaxy (USA.1)
22. Jon Kempin, 25 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
23. Nick Rimando, 38 - Real Salt Lake (USA.1)
24. Evan Newton, 30 - Cincinnati FC (USA.2)
25. Patrick McLain, 29 - Chicago Fire (USA.1)
26. Brian Rowe, 29 - Vancouver Whitecaps (USA.1)
27. Evan Bush, 32 - Montreal Impact (USA.1)
28. Cody Mizell, 26 - Tampa Bay Rowdies (USA.2)
29. Richard Sanchez, 24 - Chicago Fire (USA.1)
30. Abraham Romero, 20 - Pachuca (Mexico.1)

Bill says: It's only six games into the season but I don't think Bingham has proved why he was worth the $200,000 in allocated money just yet. There's still time left in the season but it's starting to look like the Galaxy missed an opportunity to capitalize on Kempin, who filled in admirably in Zack Steffen's absence a few weeks ago. There isn't much press on USL goalkeepers but Newton and Mizell are doing well to set the bar for the rest of the league. While Romero is most definitely leaning towards playing for Mexico, Sanchez is a good example of how a promising U20 Mexican goalkeeper can actually have more success in MLS, if not the US.


31. Matt Lampson, 28 - Minnesota United FC (USA.1)
32. Zac MacMath, 26 - Colorado Rapids (USA.1)
33. Matt Pickens, 36 - Nashville SC (USA.2)
34. Ryan Meara, 27 - New York Red Bulls (USA.1)
35. Trevor Spangenberg, 27 - Richmond Kickers (USA.2)
36. Clint Irwin, 29 - Toronto FC (USA.1)
37. Matt Turner, 23 - New England Revolution (USA.1)
38. Matt Pyzdrowski, 31 - Varbergs BoIS (Sweden.2)
39. Brendan Moore, 26 - Rochdale (England.3)
40. Charlie Lyon, 26 - Los Angeles FC (USA.1)

Bill says: I don't know how Pickens continues to do it but even at 36 he still manages to end up in Save of Week compilations. MacMath and Moore patiently await in the wings to return to the field but like Horvath, will likely have a better chance elsewhere than their current team. While Matt Turner may seem a little low at the moment, he wasn't even listed on last year's top 100 so we're going to curtail his meteoric rise just a little bit, but if you're impressing Brad Friedel then you're doing something right.


41. Brandon Miller, 28 - Charlotte Independence (USA.2)
42. Mitch Hildebrandt, 29 - Atlanta United (USA.1)
43. Adam Grinwis, 26 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)
44. Spencer Richey, 25 - Cincinnati FC (USA.2)
45. Eric Dick, 23 - Sporting Kansas City (USA.1)
46. Brad Stuver, 27 - New York City FC (USA.1)
47. Quentin Westberg, 32 - AJ Auxerre (France.2)
48. Diego Restrepo, 30 - San Antonio FC (USA.2)
49. Brian Sylvestre, 25 - Los Angeles Galaxy (USA.1)
50. Earl Edwards, 26 - Orlando City SC (USA.1)

Bill says: It's unfortunate Orlando City folded their USL team for the 2018 season as promising goalkeepers Adam Grinwis and Earl Edwards are limited to training sessions behind Joe Bendik now. Stuver was linked to Oxford United back in January but it seems the rumor either fell through or had no legs to stand on to begin with. 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the Year Brandon Miller still looks for his first start, currently sitting behind Andrew Dykstra in Charlotte. Restrepo recently penned his own story on USL's site, covering his journey from almost retiring to becoming the 2017 USL Goalkeeper of the Year.


51. Akira Fitzgerald, 30 - Tampa Bay Rowdies (USA.2)
52. Zac Lubin, 28 - Phoenix Rising (USA.2)
53. Andrew Tarbell, 24 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
54. Cody Cropper, 25 - New England Revolution (USA.1)
55. Alec Kann, 27 - Atlanta United (USA.1)
56. Andrew Dykstra, 32 - Charlotte Independence (USA.2)
57. Logan Ketterer, 24 - Columbus Crew (USA.1)
58. Andre Rawls, 28 - Orange County SC (USA.1)
59. Kyle Zobeck, 28 - FC Dallas (USA.2)
60. Wade Hamilton, 23 - Los Angeles Galaxy II (USA.2)

Bill says: Lubin was playing in Sweden this time last year but returned to the states and is currently the number two behind Carl Woszczynski. It hasn't been a smooth start for Andrew Tarbell as he's conceded eight goals in four games but San Jose doesn't seem to be hinting at having doubts in the young goalkeeper. Portland let Hamilton walk after last season and the 23-year-old has settled nicely into LAG's USL side.


61. Jon Busch, 41 - Free Agent (None)
62. John McCarthy, 25 - Philadelphia Union (USA.1)
63. Matt Bersano, 25 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
64. Matt Van Oekel, 31 - Oklahoma City Energy FC (USA.2)
65. Travis Worra, 25 - DC United (USA.1)
66. Austin Guerrero, 29 - North Carolina FC (USA.2)
67. Will Dieterich, 31 - Stjarnan (Iceland.1)
68. Carl Woszczynski, 30 - Phoenix Rising (USA.2)
69. Cody Laurendi, 29 - Oklahoma City Energy FC (USA.2)
70. Kris Devaux, 26 - Bryne FK (Norway.2)

Bill says: McCarthy (Bethlehem Steel) and Worra (Richmond Kickers) have both found some success in the USL this year, combining for seven starts and eleven goals allowed. Bersano hasn't returned to my favorite USL side, Reno 1868 FC, as he's moved up to the backup spot for the Earthquakes instead. Cohen and Sacramento haven't seen an L on their schedule yet, going 3-0-1 in their first four games.


71. Josh Cohen, 25 - Sacramento Republic (USA.2)
72. Rafael Diaz, 26 - Sacramento Republic (USA.2)
73. Jesse Gonzalez, 22 - FC Dallas (USA.1)
74. Tomas Gomez, 24 - St. Louis FC (USA.2)
75. Jake McGuire, 23 - Philadelphia Union (USA.1)
76. Kendall McIntosh, 24 - Portland Timbers (USA.1)
77. Jeff Caldwell, 22 - New York City FC (USA.1)
78. Brad Knighton, 33 - New England Revolution (USA.1)
79. Kyle Morton, 24 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USA.2)
80. Eric Lopez, 19 - Los Angeles Galaxy II (USA.2)

Bill says: Gonzalez and Gomez are currently nursing respective knee and hip injuries, although Gonzalez could have trouble regaining his starting spot with Jimmy Maurer doing so well in goal. McIntosh still has some rough edges to smooth out but he's had some really fantastic saves this early into his season. While UVA alum Jeff Caldwell hasn't made his professional debut yet, Kyle Morton notched his first start last weekend in a 4-0 route over Toronto II. U20 US goalkeeper Eric Lopez is looking to quickly rebound from his only start this year, a 3-0 loss to neighboring Orange County SC. 


81. Tim Dobrowolski, 24 - Louisville City FC (USA.2)
82. Ben Lundgaard, 22 - Indy Eleven (USA.2)
83. Mike Lansing, 23 - Aalborg BK (Denmark.1)
84. Todd Morton, 22 - Delaware (USA.N)
85. Drew Shepherd, 23 - Toronto FC II (USA.2)
86. Alex Kapp, 23 - Minnesota United FC (USA.1)
87. Austin Pack, 24 - Portland Timbers II (USA.2)
88. Bobby Edwards, 22 - Monmouth (USA.N)
89. JT Marcinkowski, 20 - San Jose Earthquakes (USA.1)
90. Evan Louro, 22 - New York Red Bulls (USA.1)

Bill says: Lundgaard was quite the sought after prospect during the MLS SuperDraft but surgery on his thumb has delayed fans on getting to watch the Virginia Tech alum in goal. Collegiate goalkeepers Todd Morton (highlights) and Bobby Edwards (highlights) go into their senior years as some of the top MLS prospects. USYNT alumni Marcinkowski and Louro will spend most of 2018 season in the USL, with hopes of landing in MLS down the line.


91. Connor Sparrow, 23 - Real Salt Lake (USA.1)
92. Nick Gardner, 22 - Denver (USA.N)
93. Andrew Putna, 23 - Real Monarchs (USA.2)
94. Stefan Cleveland, 23 - Chicago Fire (USA.1)
95. Kyle Ihn, 23 - Reno 1868 FC (USA.2)
96. Michael Nelson, 23 - Houston Dynamo (USA.1)
97. Nico Corti, 22 - Rio Grande Valley FC (USA.2)
98. Dan Lynd, 24 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USA.2)
99. Scott Levene, 22 - New York Red Bulls II (USA.2)
100. Austin Rogers, 22 - FC Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia.1)

Bill says: Ihn recently made his first professional start, showcasing a nice smothering save across the goalmouth. Rookie Michael Nelson has yet to make his first start as RGV has opted for Stanford alum Nico Corti for their first three matches. Austin Rogers returns to Ulaanbaatar for the 2018 season after being named the league's goalkeeper of the year.