What is Goals Saved Above Replacement?

cover photo belongs to Jeff Swinger/USA Today Sports

Goals Saved Above Replacement was first created back in 2013. Originally a stat that was solely eye-test related, it has since grown to a series of formulas building off the idea of comparing one goalkeeper action against a standard average. For example, if a goalkeeper is scored on in a certain situation, GSAR gauges how difficult the shot was and the percent chance an average MLS goalkeeper would save the attempt on goal. Across a variety of other situations a goalkeeper faces, GSAR finds the goals saved in comparison to a replacement player. If the number is large, the goalkeeper saved several goals and did an outstanding job. The farther a goalkeeper’s GSAR is below zero, the worse they have performed. An even “0” represents a score a replacement player would earn.

What makes GSAR any different than another goalkeeping metric?

There are two main differences. First, GSAR is an all-encompassing statistic. While most goalkeeping stats are centered solely around shot-stopping, GSAR takes into account crossing, handling abilities, distribution, slotted balls, and other situations that don’t fit in a save percentage model. In each situation, the goalkeeper’s actions are based off expectations from an average of season performances. For example, completed and incompleted passes are weighted according to the chance of goal creation, whether for the goalkeeper’s team or the opposing one.

The second main difference is found in the shot-stopping element. When considering the few advanced shot-stopping statistics out there, they are still handcuffed by the problem of looking at where the shot enters the goal, as opposed to where the ball passes a goalkeeper’s line of attack. If a goalkeeper gets scored on from atop the 18 into an upper corner but the goalkeeper is at the penalty spot (only six yards from the shooter), then the ball passed the goalkeeper at a much closer distance than where the ball entered the goalmouth. Along with tracking the speed of the shot, GSAR helps understand the difficulty of a shot more accurately through reaction time and the distance from ball-to-goalkeeper.

What categories does GSAR track?

GSAR is built to value every touch a goalkeeper makes. To make it easy to digest for readers, we’ll use the 2018 goals saved as a starting point.


Each MLS goalkeeper has had their season broken down into seven categories.

1. Shots <10 - The first two columns are shots from inside and outside ten yards. The distance measured is from the shooter to the goalkeeper, not the shooter to the goal.

While traditional expected goal models focus on a shooter’s location on the field, GSAR focuses on different criteria: where the shot passes the goalkeeper and how long the goalkeeper had to react.

A shot’s difficulty is not deemed by where it enters the goalmouth but how far the ball was from the goalkeeper when it intersected the goalkeeper’s dive line. This angle is affected by a goalkeeper’s starting position as well as where the shooter is located on the field. If a shot is taken near the end line, the ball will pass the goalkeeper within a few feet even if it is hit the upper corner. Similarly, if a goalkeeper is closer to the shooter, they “cut down the angle” and cover more of the goalmouth, putting the ball’s path closer to their body.

2. Shots >10 - While the first category is largely impacted by a goalkeeper’s reaction abilities, the second has more emphasis on a goalkeeper’s ability to move his feet and general angle play. Typically older goalkeepers perform well with farther shots and struggle on close-range ones, while younger goalkeepers are the reverse.

3. Penalties - Penalties aren’t a large part of the MLS season - only occurring once every six or seven games - but they do carry a heavy weight. On average a penalty has a success rate of around 80% and can severely boost or tank a goalkeeper’s GSAR.

4. Crossing - This category takes into account if a goalkeeper punched, claimed, or (for a negative value) let a cross drop in a position they should have challenged for. The position has recently seen a swing towards favoring passive goalkeeping when it comes to crosses, which explains the relatively low ratings.

5. Error - Covering many different areas, only negative numbers will be found here. This can include gifting a poor rebound to the opposition, giving away a penalty, or other actions that result in creating another chance on goal.

6. Misc. - The miscellaneous tallies cover any non-tradition goalkeeping action. Slotted balls back to the center of the box are the most common, as well as any actions that don’t fit a proper formula, which are entered in by hand. Unique shot deflections and 1v1 situations (amongst other actions) can be found here. While hand-adjusted values aren’t ideal, they help cover bizarre situations that a formula doesn’t work for. These situations make up less than .1% of all goalkeeping actions.

7. Passing - Passing stats consider how often and where a goalkeeper completes a pass as well as where turnovers occur. A turnover at the other side of the field is negligible, while a turnover in front of one’s own goal returns a larger negative value.

Minutes and average GSAR/90 minutes are tacked on at the end.

Projected Salaries Based Off of GSAR

There are many hurdles to tacking a dollar amount to a goalkeeper’s GSAR. For starters, identifying a baseline or replacement-level for MLS goalkeepers is tricky with salaries and talent levels constantly swelling over the past twenty years. Matching a “0 GSAR” goalkeeper with the median salary of MLS goalkeepers in 2018 ($132,625.00) proved to be the easiest route. Using this standard, we’ll take a look at seven different categories to obtain an overall GSAR rating, as well as put a dollar amount on each MLS goalkeeper’s performance from 2018.

Howard’s multi-million DP salary and GSAR were excluded for normalcy’s sake.

Howard’s multi-million DP salary and GSAR were excluded for normalcy’s sake.

Another challenge when considering this method is recognizing one team’s willingness to spend high on goalkeeping doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the league will. To find a fair expected payment, the salaries and GSARs were listed in descending order to find a trend between the two. This brings up certain issues but overall it puts every goalkeeper on an even playing field when it comes to receiving payment for their services.

As some goalkeepers didn’t play the whole season - whether due to injury or a coach’s decision - finding a projected dollar amount would either have to extrapolate a goalkeeper’s stats for a full 34 game season or shrink down the corresponding payment. For example, Attinella only played two-thirds of the season but compiled a 4.74 GSAR. Should his projected GSAR-based salary be off what he could have done over 34 games or should it account for only the games he played? With a goalkeeper’s true impact being dependent on what they can bring to the field every game, I opted to extrapolate the dollar amount out to 34 games.

Categories are explained in more detail below. Goalkeepers are sorted by the difference ($$.diff) in their projected payment minus their actual. “$$.diff” is not what goalkeepers deserved to be paid, simply just the difference between actual and deserved.


1. m.GSAR/gm - Simply dividing a goalkeeper’s GSAR over the minutes they played, unless the goalkeeper played less than 900 minutes in the season. If this was the case, a goalkeeper was given either a positive or negative .03, depending on their GSAR. It’s not a great siphoning method, but +/- .03 keeps backup goalkeepers’ GSARs from getting out of hand with such a small sample size.

2. adj.GSAR - What a goalkeeper’s GSAR would have been had they played all 34 games (3060 minutes, excluding stoppage time).

3. gsar.$$ - How much a goalkeeper deserves to be paid, converted from a goalkeepers’ adj.GSAR. The conversation formula is based on the previous orange and white graph.

4. $$.diff - Goalkeepers are sorted by this column, which simply subtracts real.$$ from gsar.$$. Tyler Miller was underpaid by $333,503 while Andre Blake was overpaid by $410,805.


Have any questions? Head over to the contact page for any specific inquiries.

NCAA Preseason Goalkeeper Rankings - Men's 2019

Seniors

1. Jacob Harris (Colgate) - 22
2. Jimmy Slayton (Hartford) - 21
3. Parker Siegfried (Ohio State) - 22
4. Drake Callender (California) - 21
5. Andreu Cases Mundet (Wake Forest, Spain) - 22
6. Sawyer Gaffney (Davidson) - 22
7. Anthony Mwembia (Bowling Green, France) - 23
8. Wallis Lapsley (UC Davis) - 22
9. Robbie McKelvey (Duquesne) - 22
10. Carlos Caro (Howard) - 21

Make or break: Parker Siegfried. Siegfried holds a homegrown option with Columbus but similar to Luis Barazza last year, if he plays well enough he may have more suitors by the time the draft rolls around. The Crew doesn’t have a USL affiliate as of 2019 so roster spots aren’t easy to come by, although that could theoretically change for 2020. Siegfried has shown flashes of professional-level talent but the Buckeyes are coming off a 1-15-2 season last year. Realistically Siegfried needs a loud senior year to see an MLS contract in front of him come January to overcome his short stature, the Crew’s crowded goalkeeping core, and a dreadful finish in 2018.

Juniors

1. Ben Hale (Furman) - 21
2. Chase Vosvick (Loyola Maryland) - 21
3. Colin Shutler (Virginia) - 20
4. Will Pulisic (Duke) - 21
5. Noah Lawrence (Cincinnati) - 20
6. Enrique Facusse (Kentucky, Honduras) - 20
7. Jake Gelnovatch (Louisville) - 22
8. Andrew Pannenberg (Wake Forest) - 20
9. Noah Heim (SIUE) - 21
10. Leon Krapf (NC State, Germany) - 21

Make or break: Will Pulisic. The highly touted goalkeeper, who was once training Dortmund, has yet to move past the third round in the NCAA tournament, being upset as a sixth seed both years. Pulisic has some name recognition going in his favor but being sub-six feet tall and lack of postseason success are going to be hard for scouts to overlook. If Pulisic showcases another postseason run with mixed reviews, there’s a good chance he is tagged with being a “good, but not great” goalkeeper. However if Pulisic and Duke put the pieces together and display why they’re a school that should be feared, Pulisic may not need to stay around for his senior year.

Sophomores

1. Justin Garces (UCLA) - 18
2. Andrew Thomas (Stanford) - 20
3. Alec Smir (North Carolina) - 20
4. Giannis Nikopolidis (Georgetown, Greece) - 18
5. George Tasouris (Grand Canyon, Cyprus) - 23
6. George Marks (Clemson) - 19
7. Daniel Husa (Gardner-Webb, Norway) - 21
8. Alex Budnik (Dartmouth) - 19
9. Sam Ilin (Marist) - 19
10. Sean Murry (Monmouth) - 20

Make or break: Justin Garces. Heading into the fall this time last year, Garces was one of, if not the number one prospect within the USMNT goalkeeping pool. A middling fall and a quiet six months later, Garces has some competition for the number one spot just within his. Andrew Thomas was called into a U23 camp over the summer and both George Marks (Clemson) and Alec Smir (UNC) are set to take over programs with more than its fair share of top goalkeepers in its history. Garces needs a confident fall to springboard into an even more convincing spring and summer run, otherwise he’ll go down as a once-promising young athlete who struggled to put the pieces in order.

Freshmen

1. Patrick Schulte (Saint Louis) - 18
2. Collin Travasos (California) - 18
3. Mario Perez (Purdue Fort Wayne) - 18
4. Tomas Romero (Georgetown, El Salvador) - 18
5. Kris Shakes (Penn State) - 18
6. Marcus Peterkin (Connecticut) - 18
7. Nate Holladay (UNC Asheville) - 18
8. Duncan Wegner (Hofstra) - 18
9. Michael Collodi (Columbia) - 18
10. Rhone Ellis (NC State) - 18

Make or break: Patrick Schulte. Schulte broke onto the scene with his US Open Cup heroics this summer, clawing out three penalty saves to push St. Louis FC into the third round. (Watch the highlights and penalty saves here.) Last year we saw Matt Freese leave Harvard after only his sophomore season and 14 collegiate starts to sign with the Philadelphia Union, where he already has 6 starts in MLS action. While Schulte may not have the opportunity to leave after his freshman fall, professional teams are looking younger and younger to establish their goalkeeping cores. If Schulte can prove he’s on a professional track, don’t be surprised if the US Open Cup hero gets an early start on his legacy as an MLS goalkeeper, if not something abroad.

Past Collegiate Goalkeeper Rankings

2018: Preseason and Final
2017: Preseason and Final
2016: Preseason and Final
2015: Preseason and Final
2014: Final

cover photo from Colgate athletics

USL Expansion Is Saving the American Goalkeeper

cover photo from Soccer Today

For the past few years there’s been a growing concern about the development of the American player. With MLS putting heavy resources into bringing foreign players into the league, the future for domestic talent was left unclear. Questions surfaced about MLS’ ability to simultaneously rise the overall talent level of the league and aide the development for Americans at the same time.

Heading into 2018, MLS goalkeepers’ salaries had stagnated in their growth. While it was a problem for the league’s position regardless of nationality, it was a pretty clear sign that American goalkeepers weren’t seeing as much of an investment from the league as other positions were. As teams across the league looked for their Wayne Rooney-equivalent, they also refrained from shelling out for goalkeepers. The past decade has been earmarked with the league cutting corners on not only developing young players but also getting top goalkeepers in the league, which unsurprisingly were tied to each other.

MLS has unrolled nine new teams (and lost one) since 2010. The new roster spots have been a nice addition for American players who couldn’t catch on elsewhere in MLS, but the lower leagues have shown more substantial gains in real estate. In the same time span that MLS grew by eight teams, lower tiers (a combination of USL, NASL, and NISA) have grown by a total of 32 teams.

Expanding the American Goalkeeper Landscape

How many American goalkeepers earned 10 league appearances by year and age. The top chart is by percentage, while the bottom chart is raw numbers. 2019 are projections.

How many American goalkeepers earned 10 league appearances by year and age. The top chart is by percentage, while the bottom chart is raw numbers. 2019 are projections.

To best show how the landscape has changed for American goalkeepers, I tracked every goalkeeper who made 10 league appearances since 2010 by year and age. It’s not a perfect method, but the goal was to see how teams invested their most valuable (league competition) and regular playing time when it came to their goalkeepers. While late round USOC and CCL games are treated important, most teams’ lineups vary from B+ to C- squads in the early rounds so league play was the most consistent standard when gauging teams’ investments.

Looking at the two charts, the yellow-to-white-to-blue scale shows the slices of each group by year. The 34 and older age group has dwindled significantly since 2010, while the 22-25 has doubled. “Non-US” accounts all players who can’t play for the USMNT, with the age of the goalkeeper being irrelevant for this category. Similarly, the second chart (green-white-blue) gives the raw numbers for each section.

Again, it’s important to note that these numbers are not roster spots, but a gauge of playing time MLS, USL and NASL teams devoted to the goalkeeping position. It’s one thing to make the game day roster, it’s quite another to play a third of the team’s games. Looking at the numbers, there are three major trends that immediately stand out.

1. Playing time for foreign goalkeepers has stayed fairly consistent - It’s hard to say what a good share of foreigners is in any country’s pyramid should be. When considering American development within the professional game, it’s good to remember that it’s not about removing foreigners but simply getting the correct talent in place. If a MLS, USL, and NISA team can find a better player - in any position - at an appropriate price, raising the level of competition serves teammates and opposition well, regardless of nationality.

A notable example of seeing the influence of a high profile athlete transcending nationalities can be found in Peter Schmeichel’s recounting of Gordon Banks’ save against Pele in the 1970 World Cup. The Brit’s performance (a decade before the Danish goalkeeper started as a professional) inspired Schmeichel to play at a higher level, even later recreating his own take on the save. This sort of standard is why goalkeepers like Pat Onstad, Jaime Penedo, and Jorge Campos are important to the American landscape. It’s a tangible goal players (current and young) to aspire towards.

The average age of a professional American goalkeeper has dropped from 29 (2010) to 25.77 (2015) and currently sits at 25.83 (2019).

The average age of a professional American goalkeeper has dropped from 29 (2010) to 25.77 (2015) and currently sits at 25.83 (2019).

2. Professional American goalkeepers are getting younger - The big reason why the average age has dipped is because USL teams - not MLS - are taking more chances on the recent college graduates. MLS is notorious for struggling to play youngsters, only recently empowering their U23 players. Yet the USL has been increasingly kind to young players and are the main reason for why 35.6% of the counted goalkeepers land in the 22-25 age range.

The trend is now bleeding into the 18-21 age bracket, with five college-aged Americans earning ten league starts in 2018. Ten goalkeepers are currently on track to double last year’s numbers. It’s hard to see where the ceiling is for U20 goalkeepers getting time but for now American goalkeepers are getting younger by the minute.

3. Late teenagers are opting out of college - Los Angeles Galaxy’s USL side paved the way for USL teams knowing how to place responsibility on a young goalkeeper’s shoulders. Originally leaning on early-to-mid 20 year olds like Brian Rowe, Brian Perk and Celement Diop, Galaxy reset their course and immediately invested in Eric Lopez, giving the 17-year-old a dozen starts in 2017, the most for any goalkeeper on the roster. They doubled down on their commitment to young goalkeepers by bringing in Justin vom Steeg and Abraham Romero.

Since then, Abraham Rodriguez (16, Colorado Springs), Aaron Cervantes (17, Orange County), David Ochoa (17, Real Monarchs), Luca Mancuso (17, Orlando B), and Max Trejo (17, Swope Park Rangers) have all earned a start in USL action just one month into the season. Perhaps most notably, two of these five goalkeepers aren’t MLS affiliates, meaning teams that aren’t a direct feeder into an MLS side are starting to invest in young players as well. It’s an unheard time in American goalkeeping and one that will start to undo the fractured goalkeeping environment that’s plagued player development for the past two decades.

Where do we go from here?

It’s been a painfully slow progress to get to this point but the last few years have seen doors open in ways that didn’t exist before. Ultimately if MLS teams want to continue to flip future Zack Steffens for $8-to-10 million dollars, they need to continue to flesh out player development for 18-23 year olds. If the NCAA continues to show no interest in adapting to the modern game and best serve the student-athlete, the responsibility falls on the USL to help bridge the gap for aspiring players to reach their potential. A few years ago, signing with a USL side for $8,000 only to sit the bench was less than a desirable option, but with promising roads being paved to MLS and perhaps beyond, don’t be surprised to see even more young players jump straight to the pro game as soon as possible.

15 Foreign Goalkeepers Who Would Be a Good Fit in MLS

cover photo belongs to AFP

We’ve recently seen two major developments that put MLS goalkeeping in a prime place to invest more than ever. First, the massive spending on goalkeepers like Alisson ($70 million) and Kepa Arrizabalaga ($90 million) is creating a ripple effect that will jump every goalkeeper’s price tag moving forward. The record transfer fee for a goalkeeper has doubled in the past year and this will trickle down to the rest of the group. Second, transfer fees for outbound MLS players are also rising as European clubs are willing to spend more on MLS’s stars. Most notably, Zack Steffen earned a potential $10 million transfer fee as well as Miguel Almirón’s recent $27 million signing with Newcastle.

On the heels of my last post with American Soccer Analysis (“Ranking MLS’ Best Foreign Goalkeepers”), it’s clear that MLS’ tactic of looking for $0 transfer fees to bring in foreign talent isn’t yielding great results for the league. While any sensible red-blooded American would love to see potential USMNT starters litter MLS’s goalkeeping ranks, bringing in top foreign talent raises the overall level of play, leaving positive long term effects on American goalkeeper development. Foreign talent is not detrimental for the league, but subpar foreign talent is.

Before we can look at our possible candidates, we have to set some criteria to make these hypothetical transfers somewhat realistic.

  1. 21-26 year olds - If they’re too young (under 21) the best you can realistically hope for is a loan as the parent club is hoping to maximize the player’s potential transfer fee. They’re unlikely to sell a 19-year-old for $4-5 million when they may be able to sell for $10-15 million, assuming they can get the goalkeeper to the right level in a couple years.

    Older goalkeepers aren’t necessarily a bad option but you run the risk of getting a Carlo Cudicini-esque situation (a once talented goalkeeper playing with zero motivation) or having to dish out a seven-figure transfer fee for a goalkeeper you may or may not get three years out of with no re-sell value. Even at 27, if they stay in MLS for a couple years, it’s unlikely a European team is going to shell out for a 29-year-old goalkeeper.

  2. Low transfer fee - Despite the league entering its 24th year, MLS teams are still reluctant to pay for goalkeepers. Perhaps in a few more years teams will spend big on the position but as of right now the money simply isn’t quite there yet. However, the bright side is that Steffen and Almiron have given reason for MLS teams to invest even more on young players.

    Steffen’s sale is additionally notable as Manchester City already have two elite goalkeepers sandwiching Steffen in age. Manchester City spent $40 million on Ederson (25) two summers ago and Guardiola has so much faith in Arijanet Muric (20) that he’s been promoted to the second string after Claudio Bravo’s injury. Ultimately Manchester City is willing to pay $10 million for a goalkeeper who has a strong chance of never becoming a starter, meaning there’s an even higher ceiling for MLS goalkeepers yet.

    Considering MLS’ reluctance to spend combined with an uptick in goalkeeper’s prices, included goalkeepers are held to a mandatory sub-€5,000,000 listing on Transfermarkt in order for MLS teams to more confidently capture a return. While Transfermarkt isn’t the gospel, it’s as close to a public resource that we have.

  3. Reason to transfer - The last hurdle is perhaps the largest one. Thinking of MLS as a springboard league, a goalkeeper has to come from the right situation before landing in the US. While Greece or Belgium aren’t exactly the best leagues in the world, they are great stepping stones for players trying to get to higher leagues. If a goalkeeper is playing consistently in Turkey or Sweden, a lateral move to MLS as an attempt to jump to a larger league is highly unlikely.

    With this, there are two types of potential MLS goalkeepers that could use a destination change. First, goalkeepers can raise their stock by playing in a higher profile league (MLS, in this case) than certain South American or Asian ones. The second type is a goalkeeper who is not regularly playing in a comparable league. If a backup in Belgium’s First Division is pegged only as such, coming to MLS could serve as a proving ground to resuscitate his career.

The fifteen goalkeepers are listed with basic information, their converted Transfermarkt listing (from euros to dollars), and a projected sell price.

1. Jo Hyeon-woo
Daegu FC (South Korea)
26, South Korean

TM Listing: $2,200,000
Projected:
$6,000,000

2018 World Cup darling Jo Hyeon-woo won over fans by displaying a stunning combination of grit and agility, with his standout game coming against Germany ultimately putting the nail in the German’s World Cup run. Jo might need a couple years in MLS to establish himself as the number one starter for South Korea, but if he’s able to do that, reaching Europe shouldn’t be a problem. Even though a sub-$7 million fee may not sound like a worthwhile investment, there could be some long term implications with helping Jo get to Europe. Like South America, the right players coming out of Asia could find success by using MLS to propel their career even further.

2. Ezequiel Unsain
Defensa y Justicia (Argentina)
23, Argentinian

TM Listing: $3,870,000
Projected:
$9,500,000

It’s likely that Unsain’s club is well aware of his ceiling so obtaining him at the current listing may be something too low for Defensa. MLS could be a couple years too late to bring him in but he’s yet to make a splash on the international scene, which could help keep his transfer fee low for now. There’s a reluctance with American media outlets to trust South American goalkeepers due to their flamboyant play style, but Unsain instills an element of aggressiveness and bravery (think Lukasz Fabianski) to his free flowing style, which makes him fit MLS all the better.

3. Mouez Hassen
Nice (France)
23, Tunisian

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$8,000,000

Hassen has unfortunately turned into a bit of a commodity with Nice. After receiving an injury in the opening game of the World Cup (not long after this amazing save) he’s fallen to the third string on the depth chart. He’s been rumored to be heading to Ligue 2 but there haven’t been waves since so we’re leaving him on the list for now. Despite being a little undersized, the “Tunisian Nick Rimando” (copyright pending) would be a perfect fit for MLS teams willing to let yet another “short” goalkeeper succeed in net.

4. Alex Remiro
Athletic Bilbao (Spain)
23, Spanish

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$10,500,000

Remiro is admittedly a bit of a reach as the Spanish goalkeeper has been included at a variety of levels with Spain’s youth system. Things are complicated all the further with Bilbao being the club that sold Kepa last summer, now owning a rep for churning out top goalkeepers. His one million Euro listing is likely far too low, but he is also stuck behind Iago Herrerín (31) and Unai Simón (21) on the depth chart. Bilbao may not be excited to part with Remiro but if a decent price comes along, any team will sell their backup in a heartbeat.

5. Wuilker Fariñez
Millonarios (Venezuela)
21, Venezuelan

TM Listing: $3,870,000
Projected:
$14,700,000

There’s a sweet spot with signing young talent. You don’t want to wait too long (high transfer fee) but you don’t want to buy too early (unproven and haven’t finished developing yet). Fariñez may just have past that peak as the Venezuelan goalkeeper already has a dozen starts for the national team. He’ll surely end up in Europe at some point, it just depends on when and how. Millonarios could look at Josef Martínez as a big success and might be swayed to send Fariñez on up. It’s entirely conceivable that Millonarios won’t settle for less than an eight-figure fee but if it’s in the $5-7 range, it’d certainly be worth MLS’s time to try their hand.

6. Baptiste Valette
Nîmes (France)
26, French

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$4,500,000

Valette was the number one goalkeeper for Nîmes during their promotion run last season but has since been relegated to the bench after the club brought in highly touted youngster Paul Bernardoni on loan. Regardless if Nîmes decide to bring Bernardoni back on loan next season, they’ve essentially communicated with Valette they want to go another direction from him. Valette could probably find another gig in the second league but might be better served by proving himself elsewhere to avoid being known as a second division goalkeeper.

7. Denis Scherbitski
BATE Borisov (Belarus)
22, Belarusian

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$9,000,000

Shcherbitski will be tricky to obtain as he’s destined for greater things and Belarus’ top club is probably in the know. MLS teams will have to throw a serious offer on the table but seeing as top goalkeepers have come from smaller countries (Jan Oblak, Keylor Navas, Etrit Berisha, Lukas Hradecky, Lukasz Fabianski) there’s a proven market for goalkeepers from atypical football countries.

8. Colin Coosemans
KAA Gent (Belgium)
26, Belgian

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$5,500,000

Gent is currently sitting on four goalkeepers, all under 30, and Coosemans is either the third or fourth string. Despite being brought in last summer, the former U21 goalkeeper is in need of a new home ASAP. Voetbal24 points out that “there is actually no Belgian club that is really looking for a new goalkeeper” so a pitstop to MLS makes some sense.

9. Kosuke Nakamura
Kashiwa Reysol (Japan)
23, Japanese

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$3,400,000

The quad capped Japanese goalkeeper is currently residing in Japan’s second division due to his loyalty to the club, despite being recently relegated. Kashiwa Reysol will surely want to keep one of their country’s top goalkeepers but Nakamura may be Japan’s best shot to put Japanese goalkeeping on the radar for European clubs. Second division Japanese football is certainly below Nakamura’s level of play while MLS is just his speed. Nakamura has some strong parallels to Tim Melia’s play style and would fit in nicely with the competition.

10. Zauri Makharadze
Zorya Luhansk (Ukraine)
25, Georgian

TM Listing: $1,300,000
Projected:
$3,500,000

Makharadze joined Zorya Luhansk last July but has since then struggled to make a consistent impact with the team opting for 21-year-old Brazilian Luis Felipe. If Makharadze doesn’t have a future with the club, jumping to another club as a backup is always tricky. Makharadze doesn’t have the surest hands but he’s surprisingly quick for how big he is, being reminiscent of Andre Blake in that regard. If the Georgian goalkeeper can’t get his next step figured out, MLS would be a decent option to turn to.

Best of the Rest

11. Ivan Konovalov
Rubin Kazan (Russia)
24, Russian

TM Listing: $2,600,000
Projected:
$7,000,000

12. Predrag Rajkovic
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
23, Serbian

TM Listing: $3,200,000
Projected:
$10,000,000

13. Valentin Cojocaru
FC Viitorul (Romania)
23, Romanian

TM Listing: $970,000
Projected: $4,500,000

14. Lucas Chaves
Argentinos (Argentina)
23, Argentine

TM Listing: $1,000,000
Projected:
$5,000,000

15. Facundo Altamirano
Club Atlético Banfield (Argentina)
22, Argentine

TM Listing: $770,000
Projected:
$3,000,000