2019 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

cover photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

What is Goals Saved Above Replacement? Click here to find out.

Following last year’s goalkeeper race, this year’s battle for best goalkeeper in the league has been highlighted by underdogs and coming-off-the-bench goalkeepers. Early into the season, Maxime Crepeau (6.27) broke away from the pack as the lead candidate but Steve Clark (8.45) and Matt Turner’s (6.82) furious back half of the season saw a close finish between the three goalkeepers. Ultimately Steve Clark earned top of the chart honors, averaging out to an outstanding +.35 per 90 minutes and clearing second-place Matt Turner by 1.63 goals.

Clark and Turner weren’t the only goalkeepers who saw a strong second-half performance during the season. After a lackluster start, both David Bingham (5.55) and Luis Robles (4.36) displayed a dramatic improvement in goal, saving their teams multiple goals in the closing months. National team goalkeepers were mostly positive in MLS play. Sean Johnson (3.43) and Tim Howard (3.13) were consistently above average while Brad Guzan (0.59) and Nick Rimando (-1.91) bounced around the 0 mark for most the season.

Lastly, teams that made the biggest bang for their buck were, to no surprise, found with the top three goalkeepers. New England’s Matt Turner and Portland’s Steve Clark performed at a rate that warranted $1.4 million dollar salaries but were on $75,398 and $140,000 contracts, respectively. Maxime Crepeau gave a $740,000-worthy season as well, but only received $94,083 guaranteed compensation. Inversely, Bill Hamid, Vito Mannone, Andre Blake and others struggled to make up their six-figure contracts, playing at a fraction of their cost.

For more detail statistics on each goalkeeper, click here to view the web page which breaks down each goalkeeper’s contributions into seven categories, week-by-week performances, and how much they deserve to be paid.

RankGSARKeeperTeam Mins GSAR/90
1 8.21 Steve Clark POR 2160 0.34
2 8.02 Matt Turner NE 1766 0.41
3 7.18 Maxime Crepeau VAN 2340 0.28
4 5.60 David Bingham LAG 2970 0.17
5 5.18 Luis Robles RBNY 2970 0.16
6 4.97 Sean Johnson NYC 2610 0.17
7 4.04 Tim Melia SKC 2880 0.13
8 2.99 Tim Howard CLR 2205 0.12
9 2.81 Tyler Miller LAFC 2520 0.10
10 2.23 Evan Bush MON 2880 0.07
11 2.17 Brian Rowe OCSC 2880 0.07
12 2.06 Brad Guzan ATL 3060 0.06
13 1.33 Bill Hamid DC 2970 0.04
14 0.18 Vito Mannone MIN 3060 0.01
15 0.02 Quentin Westberg TOR 2520 0.00
16 -0.25 Kenneth Kronholm CHC 1800 -0.01
17 -0.85 Daniel Vega SJ 3060 -0.03
18 -1.34 Stefan Frei SEA 3060 -0.04
19 -1.42 Spencer Richey CIN 1710 -0.07
20 -1.55 Jose Luis Gonzalez FCD 2880 -0.05
21 -1.90 Nick Rimando RSL 2610 -0.07
22 -2.84 Andre Blake PHI 2286 -0.11
23 -3.93 Joe Willis HOU 2430 -0.15
- 2.77 Zac MacMath VAN 720 0.35
- 2.09 Clint Irwin CLR 945 0.20
- 1.34 David Ousted CHC 1260 0.10
- 1.34 Carlos PHI 319 0.38
- 1.03 Brad Stuver NYC 450 0.21
- 0.94 Pablo Sisniega LAFC 540 0.16
- 0.79 Eloy Room CLB 1080 0.07
- 0.32 Andrew Putna RSL 450 0.06
- 0.21 Adrian Zendejas SKC 90 0.21
- 0.19 Jimmy Maurer FCD 180 0.10
- 0.10 Jeff Attinella POR 900 0.01
- -0.14 Chris Seitz DCU 90 -0.14
- -0.14 Matt Lampson LAG 90 -0.14
- -0.22 Greg Ranjitsingh OCSC 180 -0.11
- -0.38 Eric Dick SKC 90 -0.38
- -0.42 Jon Kempin CLB 270 -0.14
- -0.44 Clement Diop MON 180 -0.22
- -0.48 Ryan Meara RBNY 90 -0.48
- -1.17 Zack Steffen CLB 1170 -0.09
- -1.16 Brad Knighton NE 664 -0.16
- -1.38 Alex Bono TOR 630 -0.20
- -1.46 Matt Freese PHI 455 -0.29
- -1.73 Tyler Deric HOU 630 -0.25
- -1.88 Cody Cropper NE 630 -0.27
- -3.24 Joe Bendik CLB 540 -0.54
- -4.84 Przemyslaw Tyton CIN 1350 -0.32

Goalkeepers not given a rank in the first column (starting with Zac MacMath and Clint Irwin) were excluded from the rankings for not playing half the games in the season.

The 30 Greatest Goalkeepers in Women's College Soccer History

cover photo from Colorado Springs Sports

Earlier in the year, Stan Anderson and Bill Reno released their top men’s collegiate goalkeepers of all-time. This month, Everybody Soccer presents the thirty greatest goalkeepers in NCAA history, specifically looking at the division one program. Rankings were based on collegiate accolades, overall ability, and team success during their tenure.

1. Janine Szpara (Colorado College, 85-88)
2. Erin McLeod (SMU / Penn State, 01-02 / 04-05)
3. Jen Renola (Notre Dame, 93-96)
4. Hope Solo (Washington, 99-02)
5. Nicole Barnhart (Stanford, 00-04)
6. Emily Shaw (Penn State, 98-01)
7. Heather Taggart (Wisconsin, 88-91)
8. Briana Scurry (Mass, 89-93)
9. Joan Schockow (Cortland State, 80-83)
10. Siri Mullinix (UNC, 95-98)

11. Alyssa Naeher (Penn State, 06-09)
12. Kristin Luckenbill (Dartmouth, 97-00)
13. Aubrey Bledsoe (Wake Forest, 10-13)
14. Marianne Johnson (UNC, 79-82)
15. Shelley Finger (UNC, 91-93)
16. Jaime Pagliarulo (George Mason, 95-98)
17. Ashlyn Harris (UNC, 06-09)
18. Kim Wyant (UCF, 82-85)
19. Tracy Noonan (UNC, 92-95)
20. Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State, 09-12)

21. Mary Harvey (California, 83-86)
22. Valerie Henderson (UCLA, 04-07)
23. Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner (George Mason, 83-86)
24. LaKeysia Beene (Notre Dame, 96-99)
25. Saskia Webber (Rutgers, 89-92)
26. Skye Eddy Bruce (Mass / George Mason, 89-92 / 93)
27. Amy Griffin (UCF, 84-87)
28. Jillian Loyden (Villanova, 04-07)
29. Jenni Branam (UNC, 99-02)
30. Jen Mead (Providence / George Mason, 91-93 / 94)

The Early Years

The only four-time first-team All-American goalkeeper to emerge out of the NCAA system happened in the very first decade. Janine Szpara, who would later represent the USWNT and continue her pro career into her 30s, reached a level no other college goalkeeper has yet to match. But before Szpara suited up for Colorado College, two-time national champion Marianna Johnson was the first in a long line of successful UNC goalkeepers, six of which are featured on the list. UCF is another school with a decorated goalkeeping lineage. Their run in the ‘80s, highlighted by their 1982 runner-up finish, was largely backed by premier goalkeeping from Kim Wyant and Amy Griffin, née Allmann.

Even though Mary Harvey would later go on to help the US win their first World Cup and Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner’s performance against UNC would go on to impress USWNT head coach Anson Dorrance, it was ultimately Joan Schockow who left college with a mountain of awards. Schockow earned two first-teams as well as two third-team All-American recognitions during her four years, establishing herself as one of the first premier goalkeepers in women’s soccer.

Without a professional league until 2001, many goalkeepers scrambled to find homes after their senior year and Heather Taggart was no exception. After putting Wisconsin on the map, and wreaking havoc on the Badgers’ record books with 52 shutouts in her four years, she would cap off her final year with a first-team All-American award and a runner-up finish in the 1991 National Championship before turning to a life in the medical field.

Building Towards 1999

While Briana Scurry casts a large shadow on goalkeeping in the 90s, several athletes finished their career with a plethora of accolades. UMass presented a great example of overflowing talent as the university once held the two best goalkeepers in the country at the same time. Heading into her final year of eligibility, Sky Eddy Bruce would graduate from UMass and play her fifth year at George Mason, where she would promptly win All-American honors over senior UMass goalkeeper Briana Scurry. The two once teammates won first and second-team All-American, respectively, in 1993.

A bulk of goalkeeping starts for the national team also came out of the ‘90s. Scurry (175), Mullinix (45), Webber (23), Noonan (24), Beene (18), Luckenbill (14), Mead (6) and Pagliarulo (3) were all featured with the senior team after successful collegiate campaigns. And even though they didn’t receive a cap with the national team, Shelley Finger’s three national champions and Jen Renola’s NCAA 25th Anniversary Team recognition showcase their talent before the professional game gave collegiate players an avenue to continue playing after college.

New Century Ushers in New Talent

After facing an unbearable level of homophobia while at her first school, McLeod finished on a high note after transferring to Penn State, where she won first and second All-American honors (2005 and 2004, respectively) as well as a semifinal finish in her senior year. McLeod would go on to face Hope Solo and the USWNT many times over the next ten years, but McLeod wasn’t Solo’s first time competing against a Nittany Lion. Emily Shaw (née Oleksiuk) is a two-time All-American, including the 2000 honor where Solo was relegated to the second All-American team. Shaw would go on to earn two caps with the US national team before retiring after her 2002 season with the Carolina Courage.

Barnhart, Loyden, Harris, and Naeher all earned fame from the international careers, but Branam and Henderson combined for six final fours between the two of them. Branam, who would play as late as 2011 with Sky Blue, won two national championships with UNC while Henderson finished with 76 wins to her name during her tenure at UCLA as well as a spot with the 2006 U20 squad.

Modern Goalkeepers Take the Lead

As the decade comes to a close, two goalkeepers from the last ten years have stood out among the rest of the field. Oklahoma State alum Adrianna Franch has been featured with a national team camp numerous times, earning her first cap in 2018. Franch, a two-time first-team All-American, could be joined by Aubrey Bledsoe as the next US goalkeeper to earn her first cap with the national team. Bledsoe led Wake Forest to a 2011 semifinal finish, the school’s lone College Cup appearance, and was included in three different All-American squads during her career.

Top Goalkeepers in Women's Soccer (2019)

The Women’s World Cup has finally come to a close but for those clamoring for more, the Olympic tournament is right around the corner. Until then most of the top goalkeepers will return to their clubs in England, France, Germany, and the US. This year’s list expands to include the top 60 in the world, as well as another 30 up-and-coming goalkeepers. Special thanks to Mouhamad Rachini for assisting with the rankings. Cover photo from FIFA.

1. Almuth Schult, GER (Wolfsburg) - 28
2. Tinja-Riikka Korpela, FIN (Valerenga, Norway) - 33
3. Sari van Veenendaal, NET (Arsenal, England) - 29
4. Alyssa Naeher, USA (Chicago Red Stars) - 31
5. Karen Bardsley, ENG (Manchester City) - 34
6. Stephanie Ohrstrom, SWE (Fiorentina, Italy) - 32
7. Lisa Schmitz, GER (Turbine Potsdam) - 27
8. Christiane Endler, CHI (PSG, France) - 27
9. Carly Telford, ENG (Chelsea) - 31
10. Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, POL (PSG, France) - 28

One to watch: PSG’s goalkeeper situation. Despite Endler’s World Cup heroics, it was Kiedrzynek who started 15 of 22 matches for PSG last season. It makes sense to see one of the goalkeepers slide to another club where they’ll be the proper starter but it’s tough to say which one. Kiedrzynek has the seniority but Endler’s stock has taken a massive bump in the last month. Kiedrzynek enters her seventh season with PSG, but it feels like a coin flip as to who will receive the majority of playing time. (For more on Endler’s background and recent surge, head over to Between the Sticks’ cover story on the Chilean goalkeeper.)

11. Aubrey Bledsoe, USA (Washington Spirit, USA) - 27
12. Lisa Weiss, GER (Lyon, France) - 31
13. Ashlyn Harris, USA (Orlando Pride, USA) - 33
14. Erin McLeod, CAN (Vaxjo, Sweden) - 36
15. Sandra Paños, SPA (Barcelona, Spain) - 26
16. Stephanie Labbé, CAN (North Carolina Courage, USA) - 32
17. Lydia Williams, AUS (Seattle Reign, USA) - 31
18. Adrianna Franch, USA (Portland Thorns) - 28
19. Laura O'Sullivan, WAL (Cardiff City, England) - 27
20. Mary Earps, ENG (Wolfsburg, Germany) - 26

One to watch: Aubrey Bledsoe. Heading into the World Cup, there were many questioning Alyssa Naeher’s ability in goal for the US. Now after Naeher’s outstanding semifinal performance against Spain, Bledsoe’s job of unseating the incumbent became even more difficult. Bledsoe has been working overtime the last two years, earning 61 starts between the NWSL and Australia’s W-League in the last 24 months. Bledsoe surely knows what’s within reach, but her toughest task of becoming the number one for the US is just beginning.

21. Sarah Bouhaddi, FRA (Lyon) - 32
22. Britt Eckerstrom, USA (Portland Thorns) - 26
23. Katie Fraine, USA (Vaxjo, Sweden) - 31
24. Michelle Betos, USA (Seattle Reign) - 31
25. Kateryna Samson, UKR (Ryazan, Russia) - 30
26. Gaelle Thalmann, SWI (Reggiana, Italy) - 33
27. Sabrina D'Angelo, CAN (Vittsjo, Sweden) - 26
28. Lee Alexander, SCO (Glasgow City) - 27
29. Laura Giuliani, ITA (Juventus) - 26
30. Oxana Zheleznyak, KAZ (BIIK Kazygurt) - 32

One to watch: Sabrina D'Angelo. After running into a crowded goalkeeping situation with the North Carolina Courage, D’Angelo moved east to Sweden’s Vittsjö. While the club is struggling to stay out of the relegation zone (currently sitting just one point above the line), D’Angelo is getting the playing time she was looking for. Canada’s goalkeeping position will soon start the process of passing the torch to the new guard, but D'Angelo’s resume might need to bolster up a bit before fans feel comfortable with her in net.

31. Erin Nayler, NZ (Bordeaux, France) - 27
32. Haley Kopmeyer, USA (Orlando Pride) - 29
33. Laetitia Philippe, FRA (Rodez) - 28
34. Didi Haracic, BOS (Washington Spirit, USA) - 27
35. Meline Gerard, FRA (Free Agent) - 29
36. Karima Benameur, FRA (Paris FC) - 30
37. Katrine Abel, DEN (Brondby) - 29
38. Erina Yamane, JPN (Real Betis, Spain) - 28
39. Pauline Magnin, FRA (Arsenal, England) - 27
40. Anke Preuss, GER (Liverpool, England) - 26

One to watch: Meline Gerard. After being named a backup to American goalkeeper Casey Murphy, the longtime French national team back up walked away from Montpellier. An injury in the fall gave her another hurdle to returning the field, putting the once-promising goalkeeper a full fourteen months from her last professional match. Gerard announced in May she was working on receiving a coaching license but a Facebook post last month seems to imply she still has something left to prove on the field. Gerard might or might not have gas left in the tank, but the answer will surely come sooner than later.

41. Laura Benkarth, GER (Bayern Munich) - 26
42. Romane Munich, FRA (Soyaux) - 24
43. Patricia Morais, POR (Sporting CP) - 27
44. Barbara Lorsheijd, NET (ADO Den Haag) - 28
45. Nora Gjøen, NOR (Sandviken) - 27
46. Bryane Heaberlin, USA (Frankfurt, Germany) - 25
47. Jennifer Falk, SWE (Goteborg) - 26
48. Rute Costa, POR (Braga) - 25
49. Loes Geurts, NET (Goteborg, Sweden) - 33
50. Hedvig Lindahl, SWE (Chelsea, England) - 36

One to watch: Laura Benkarth. An ACL/MCL tear cut most of 2018 short for Benkarth but the recovery went so well she worked herself in a World Cup roster spot. Bayern Munich has a slew of strong, young goalkeepers going into next season with Austrian international Manuela Zinsberger (23), former Dutch U20 starter Jacintha Weimar (21), and Finnish U20 starter Katriina Talaslahti (18). It’s a hand-picked goalkeeping core that will be tough for Benkarth to emerge from. If she can nail down the starting spot for Bayern Munich, expect to see more from Benkarth on even bigger stages.

51. Emily Dolan, USA (Real Betis, Spain) - 24
52. Bárbara, BRA (Kindermann) - 30
53. Mackenzie Arnold, AUS (Brisbane Roar) - 25
54. Meike Kamper, GER (Duisburg) - 25
55. Nicole Barnhart, USA (Utah Royals) - 37
56. Lindsey Harris, USA (Klepp, Norway) - 25
57. Jane Campbell, USA (Houston Dash) - 24
58. Deborah Garcia, FRA (Rodez) - 24
59. Vanina Correa, ARG (Rosario Central) - 30
60. Emily Armstrong, USA (Sundsvall, Sweden) - 25

One to watch: Mackenzie Arnold. After a lackluster World Cup performance from Australian starter Lydia Williams, Arnold could theoretically work her way into the starting spot for the Olympic tournament in 12 months. Arnold hasn’t been playing regularly since February, at the conclusion of the W-League, and will probably need some more game time under her belt to truly make a push for Australia’s number one spot. But she’s certainly in a position to impress the higher-ups if the next year goes well for her.

Top 30 Under 24

1. Ellie Roebuck, ENG (Manchester City) - 19
2. Carina Schluter, GER (SC Sand) - 22
3. Elena, SPA (Fundacion Albacete) - 22
4. Elisa Launay, FRA (Lille) - 23
5. Anneke Borbe, GER (Werder Bremen) - 18
6. Zecira Musovic, SWE (Rosengard) - 23
7. Peng Shimeng, CHI (Jiangsu Suning) - 21
8. Stephanie Bukovec, CRO (ZNK Split) - 23
9. Cindy Perrault, FRA (Grenoble Foot) - 23
10. Sara Serrat, SPA (Huelva) - 23

One to watch: Ellie Roebuck. Second place WSL finisher Manchester City relied heavily on the teenage goalkeeper. Roebuck, who started 15 of the club’s 20 matches, has earned two caps with the English national team over the last year. Roebuck is so highly regarded that she not only signed a two-year extension with Manchester City but served as a surplus traveling member for England’s World Cup team this summer. When compared to her peers, Roebuck is in a league of her own.

11. Ayaka Yamashita, JPN (Nippon TV Beleza) - 23
12. Romane Bruneau, FRA (Girondins de Bordeaux) - 22
13. Cecilie Fiskerstrand, NOR (Lillestrom) - 23
14. Maria Quinones, SPA (Real Sociedad) - 22
15. Kailen Sheridan, CAN (Sky Blue FC, USA) - 23
16. Aurora Mikalsen, NOR (Kolbotn) - 23
17. Lena Pauels, GER (Werder Bremen) - 21
18. Casey Murphy, USA (Seattle Reign) - 23
19. Manuela Zinsberger, AUS (Bayern Munich, Germany) - 23
20. Sophie Baggaley, ENG (Bristol City) - 22

One to watch: Casey Murphy. Murphy is the next logical choice in the post-Alyssa Naeher era for many US fans. At 23, she’s certainly accomplished more than her American counterparts, leaving college early to play in France for two years with Montpellier. She’s recently returned stateside, filling in for Lydia Williams’ absence with the World Cup team. Murphy will likely be fast-tracked going forward by some NWSL side, whether it is Seattle or not, but the competition for a starting spot in the NWSL is unlike any other position in the league.

21. Chika Hirao, JPN (Albirex Niigata) - 22
22. Emily Boyd, USA (Chicago Red Stars) - 22
23. Lisa Klostermann, GER (SGS Essen) - 20
24. Jalen Tompkins, USA (University of Colorado) - 22
25. Ana, SPA (Rayo Vallecano) - 21
26. Mikayla Krzeczowski, USA (University of South Carolina) - 21
27. Matilda Haglund, SWE (Linkoping) - 22
28. Ella Dederick, USA (Washington State University) - 22
29. Alessia Piazza, ITA (Tavagnacco) - 21
30. Lize Kop, NET (Ajax) - 21

One to watch: Ella Dederick. Back in February, Washington State was happy to announce that Dederick was granted an additional year of eligibility after a knee injury cut last fall short. Dederick was on pace to be a top goalkeeper in the 2019 NWSL draft before the unfortunate setback. Now with a new lease on her playing career, Dederick will be a top draft pick for 2020 if everything goes as planned. Dederick’s fitness and playing level will be unveiled in August and if she can stay healthy through the grueling fall, look to see her name on everyone’s draft board in January.

Past Rankings:
2018
2017
2016

The World's Top Goalkeepers (2019)

Everybody Soccer returns with the annual list of top goalkeepers in the world. This year features 50 of the current top goalkeepers as well as another 50 goalkeepers under the age of 24. While some goalkeepers are likely to be sent out on loan (Sergio Rico and Kevin Trapp for example), the parent club has been listed unless an official deal has been made. Check back next month for a similar list for the women’s game. Cover photo from DW.com.

1. Marc ter Stegen, Germany (Barcelona, SPA) - 27
2. Jan Oblak, Slovenia (Atlético Madrid, SPA) - 26
3. Keylor Navas, Costa Rica (Real Madrid, SPA) - 32
4. David de Gea, Spain (Manchester United, ENG) - 28
5. Ederson, Brazil (Manchester City, ENG) - 25
6. Alisson, Brazil (Liverpool, ENG) - 26
7. Yann Sommer, Switzerland (Mönchengladbach, GER) - 30
8. Rui Patrício, Portugal (Wolverhampton, ENG) - 31
9. Thibaut Courtois, Belgium (Real Madrid, SPA) - 27
10. Lukas Hradecky, Finland (Bayer Leverkusen, GER) - 29

One to Watch: Thibaut Courtois. Courtois’ vast, negative reception after receiving the 2018 World Cup Golden Glove has been strange, to say the least. Courtois is far from one of football’s villains, although he can be quite the prick at times, but there seem to be more rooting for him to fail than succeed at Real Madrid. Often described as one of the worst best goalkeepers in the world, Courtois should finally have Real Madrid to himself with the pending exit of Keylor Navas. Real Madrid isn’t known as a club with patience and if Courtois can’t prove to his critics he’s worthy of the starting spot, don’t expect him to stick around too long.

11. Bernd Leno, Germany (Arsenal, ENG) - 27
12. Hugo Lloris, France (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG) - 32
13. Jasper Cillessen, Netherlands (Barcelona, SPA) - 30
14. Salvatore Sirigu, Italy (Torino) - 32
15. Manuel Neuer, Germany (Bayern Munich) - 33
16. Lukasz Fabianski, Poland (West Ham United, ENG) - 34
17. Anthony Lopes, Portugal (Lyon, FRA) - 28
18. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Spain (Chelsea, ENG) - 24
19. Sven Ulreich, Germany (Bayern Munich) - 29
20. Roman Bürki, Switzerland (Dortmund, GER) - 28

One to Watch: Jasper Cillessen. The longtime backup for Barcelona is finally getting a fresh start and hopefully his own net. After being linked with a number of Premier League clubs, it seems Valencia will be the new home for the Dutch goalkeeper. Cillessen may be looking at less hardware with Valencia when compared to Barcelona, but he’ll still be seeing Champions League matches and be in the middle of a tightly contested La Liga table to return to the prestigious tournament next year. Cillessen has long awaited his breakout chance but now it’s up to him to prove he’s more than a great backup.

21. Alphonse Areola, France (PSG) - 26
22. Jordan Pickford, England (Everton) - 25
23. Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark (Leicester City, ENG) - 32
24. Martin Dubravka, Slovakia (Newcastle United, ENG) - 30
25. Etrit Berisha, Albania (Atalanta, Italy) - 30
26. Bono, Morocco (Girona, Spain) - 28
27. Pau López, Spain (Betis, Roma) - 24
28. Samir Handanovic, Slovenia (Inter, ITA) - 34
29. Adrián, Spain (Free Agent) - 32
30. Ralf Fährmann, Germany (FC Schalke 04) - 29

One to Watch: Alphonse Areola. Despite PSG bringing in Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon last year, Areola still started 21 of 38 matches and is set to take on an even larger role at the club. With Ligue 1 continually playing little brother to the top four leagues, Areola has the chance to showcase his talents in a way that could put him on a bigger stage and give PSG a nice reward on the way out. Areola’s ceiling is still up to much debate. He could be one of the best goalkeepers in Ligue 1 history or he might be contending for something more if 2019-20 falls in line.

31. Wojciech Szczesny, Poland (Juventus, ITA) - 29
32. Kevin Trapp, Germany (PSG, FRA) - 27
33. Fernando Muslera, Uruguay (Galatasaray, TUR) - 33
34. Asmir Begovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bournemouth, ENG) - 32
35. Igor Akinfeev, Russia (CSKA Moscow, RUS) - 33
36. Fernando Pacheco, Spain (Alavés) - 27
37. Gianluigi Buffon, Italy (PSG, FRA) - 41
38. David Ospina, Colombia (Napoli, ITA) - 30
39. Alexander Schwolow, Germany (Freiburg) - 27
40. Mattia Perin, Italy (Juventus) - 26

One to Watch: Mattia Perin. Things are far from settled but Perin seems more out than in at Juventus. Perin unsuccessfully attempted to dethrone Wojciech Szczesny, only starting nine league matches before needing surgery for a dislocated shoulder. Roma and Perin have been tied but the once future successor at Juventus is now scrambling to find a club that would invest in him between the posts.


41. Aitor Fernandez, Spain (Levante) - 28
42. Matheus, Brazil (SC Braga, POR) - 26
43. Mathew Ryan, Australia (Brighton, ENG) - 27
44. Jiri Pavlenka, Czech Republic (Werder Bremen, GER) - 27
45. Timo Horn, Germany (1. FC Köln) - 26
46. Sergio Rico, Spain (Sevilla) - 25
47. Jordi Masip, Spain (Real Valladolid) - 30
48. Iago Herrerín, Spain (Athletic Bilbao) - 31
49. Simon Sluga, Croatia (Rijeka) - 26
50. Alex McCarthy, England (Southampton) - 29

One to Watch: Sergio Rico. Sevilla is passing on Sergio Rico for Czech veteran Tomas Vaclik so Rico’s return back to Fulham, where he started the final 29 matches of the season, seems more than plausible. There weren’t too many 25-year-olds starting in the EPL last year and Fulham showed some true loyalty in Rico by sticking with him even in the midst of a 12 points over 18 match run to finish in the relegation zone. England’s second division is no cakewalk so if Rico does return, it may be an even tougher test than the Premier League.

Top 50 Goalkeepers Under 24

1. Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy (AC Milan) - 20
2. Ionut Radu, Romania (Inter, ITA) - 22
3. Okan Kocuk, Turkey (Bursaspor) - 23
4. Michael Verrips, Netherlands (KV Mechelen, BEL) - 22
5. Felipe Lopez, Mexico (Leones Negros) - 23
6. Alex Meret, Italy (Napoli) - 22
7. Rubén Blanco, Spain (Celta de Vigo) - 23
8. Roberto Ramirez, Argentina (Godoy Cruz) - 22
9. Simone Scuffet, Italy (Udinese Calcio) - 23
10. Daniel Mesenhöler, Germany (MSV Duisburg) - 23

One to Watch: Ionut Radu. Italy has a pair of young, exciting goalkeepers at two of its more prominent clubs. Radu, who recently sent shockwaves throughout the soccer community for his heartfelt tribute to his sister, is in contention to put Romania into the 2020 Olympics with the U23 side. Arsenal reportedly has interest in the young goalkeeper but he’s also been public about returning to Genoa as a positive situation. If it’s not Arsenal, Radu will have his pick of the lot sooner than later.


11. Toma Niga, Romania (FCSB) - 21
12. André Onana, Cameroon (Ajax, NET) - 23
13. Adrian Semper, Croatia (Dinamo Zagreb) - 21
14. Luca Zidane, France (Real Madrid, SPA) - 21
15. Tiepo, Brazil (Chapecoense) - 21
16. Denis Scherbitski, Belarus (BATE Borisov) - 23
17. Dragan Rosic, Serbia (Mladost) - 22
18. Arijanet Muric, Kosovo (Manchester City, ENG) - 20
19. Boris Radunović, Serbia (Atalanta, ITA) - 23
20. Emil Audero, Italy (Sampdoria) - 22

One to Watch: Arijanet Muric. American fans might be familiar with Zack Steffen’s move to Manchester City but it’s Muric’s rise to power that viewers should watch closely. At 20 years young, Muric has already been capped five times by Kosovo, proving how goalkeepers can come from even the 121st ranked nations. A shocking 4-0-2 run by Kosovo, paired with a +29 jump in Elo rankings, promoted them to League C in the UEFA Nations League and could be a sign of more things to come.

21. Alexander Nübel, Germany (FC Schalke 04) - 22
22. Ugurcan Caki, Turkey (Trabzonspor) - 23
23. Joe Wildsmith, England (Sheffield Wednesday) - 23
24. Mike Maignan, France (Lille) - 23
25. Angus Gunn, England (Southampton) - 23
26. Andrea Zaccagno, Italy (Torino) - 22
27. Alban Lafont, France (Fiorentina, ITA) - 20
28. Álex Dos Santos, Brazil (Atlético Madrid, SPA) - 20
29. Andriy Lunin, Ukraine (Real Madrid, SPA) - 20
30. Gregor Kobel, Switzerland (Hoffenheim, GER) - 21

One to Watch: Andriy Lunin. Lunin managed to earn five starts for CD Leganés last season (where he was loaned from Real Madrid) but his biggest achievement came this summer, where he led Ukraine in goal during their championship run in the U20 World Cup. Lunin was given the Golden Glove in the U20 tournament after conceding just four goals in seven games. After originally being slated to go back out on loan to Leganés, Goal.com says Lunin is a likely candidate for the number two with Real Madrid. Fans may not get to watch much of Lunin during league play yet again but he’ll surely get his chance to prove his merit in various cup matches throughout the season.

31. Per Kristian Bratveit, Norway (Djurgarden, SWE) - 23
32. Nordin Jackers, Belgium (Genk) - 21
33. David Raya, Spain (Blackburn Rovers, ENG) - 23
34. Josip Posavec, Croatia (Hajduk Split) - 23
35. José Aurelio Suárez, Spain (Girona) - 23
36. Phillip Menzel, Germany (Wolfsburg) - 20
37. Anton Mitryushkin, Russia (Sion, SWI) - 23
38. Alexander Schlager, Austria (LASK) - 23
39. Sondre Rossbach, Norway (Odds) - 23
40. Mile Svilar, Belgium (Benfica, POR) - 19

One to Watch: Phillip Menzel. Wolfsburg’s reserve team just missed promotion with a tightly contested battle with Bayern Munich’s second team. Menzel’s tenure in the fourth division was still largely successful, compiling a 24-4-2 record throughout the season. Wolfsburg may look to send him back with the reserve side or, as Sportbuzzer reports, a loan to a third division side could be a natural progression for the German U20 goalkeeper. For those unfamiliar with Menzel’s game, think Lukasz Fabianski. It can be a little clunky at times, but the U20 German goalkeeper has an uncanny nose for the ball and a Michael Jordan hangtime-esque extension save. While first-team chances are close to zero for the time being, it’s more of a “not if but when” situation with Menzel.

41. Altay Bayindir, Turkey (Ankaragücü) - 21
42. Sebastian Jurado, Mexico (Tiburones Rojos) - 21
43. Justin Bijlow, Netherlands (Feyenoord) - 21
44. Antonio Sivera, Spain (Alavés) - 22
45. Nils Körber, Germany (Osnabruck) - 22
46. Rok Vodisek, Slovenia (Genoa, ITA) - 20
47. Pontus Dahlberg, Sweden (Watford, ENG) - 20
48. Javier Belman, Spain (Real Madrid) - 20
49. Dominik Kotarski, Croatia (Ajax, Netherlands) - 19
50. Michele Di Gregorio, Italy (Inter) - 21

One to Watch: Pontus Dahlberg. For Watford fans, Dahlberg has been a non-factor since joining the club 18 months ago and has probably been forgotten by some of the supporters. However Dahlberg picked up his first cap with the Swedish national team in January and followed up the 1-1 tie to Estonia by just barely missing the cutoff for the European Under-21 Championship. Dahlberg, who has been sitting for some time with Watford, seems prime to be loaned out and begin being groomed for the starting position for the Hornets.