Editor’s Note: Christian originally gave me this list ranked 1-10, but I reversed it to 10-1 to add a bit of “dramer” as the English would call it. MLS is a growing league and that has been increasingly evident in the quality of goalkeepers. Here, Christian Cole, a former goalkeeper himself, ranks the top of the MLS keeper pool.
By, Christian Cole (@ChristianCole93)
10. Adam Kwarasey (Portland Timbers) – Kwarasey still might be a relative unknown to casual MLS fans but thus far in 2015 he’s posted seven clean sheets and has been very reliable for Portland. USMNT fans may remember him as he started in goal for Ghana against the US in the 2014 World Cup though as of late his international career has been in limbo.
9. Steve Clark (Columbus Crew SC) – Clark spent four seasons in Norway with Honefoss BK whom in 2011 he helped win promotion to the top flight in Norway. It was only a matter of team before MLS teams caught on. Since signing for the Crew in 2014 he’s wasted no time showing MLS what he’s capable of.
8. Bobby Shuttleworth (New England Revolution) – Shuttleworth was a big part of why New England made it all the way to the MLS Cup finals last season. He has shined when New England’s attack went dry. So many years as an understudy to Matt Reis is really starting to pay dividends.
7. Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids) – Hard to believe prior to 2013 Irwin was plying his trade in USL Pro with the Charlotte Eagles but he has wasted no time making his mark in MLS. Let’s face it Colorado are one of the weaker teams in the league but it’s not because of Irwin. Irwin has posted six clean sheets so far this year and Colorado have only allowed 17 goals thus far tied for second fewest in the league. The problem for Colorado lies in their lack of goals.
6. Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) – Robles has experience playing in Germany with Kaiserslautern and Karlsruher however following his release from the latter he pondered retirement but was acquired by New York via allocation and has been very impressive.
5. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) – Frei is a great keeper but no doubt benefits from having an incredible back line to support him. Chad Marshall has been consistently one of the best centerbacks in the league and has built a great partnership with Frei. Currently leads the league in clean sheets with eight and saves with 70.
4. Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy) – Penedo was a great signing for the Galaxy in 2013. He has been a stalwart for the Panamanian national team since 2003 and has twice won the Golden Glove at the Gold Cup in 2005 and 2013. Led the Galaxy to the MLS Cup last season. Big question is why no MLS team tried to sign him sooner given his performances with Panama.
3. David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Ousted is one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s coming off a game where he saved two penalties. So far in 2015 he’s second in the league in shutouts and Vancouver are in solid position in second with two games in hand.
2. Bill Hamid (DC United) – Hamid is the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In 2013 DC won three games and finished dead last in the league but nearly went from worst to first in 2014 finishing first in the East and third overall largely in part to Hamid. So far in 2015 DC United have allowed second fewest goals in the league. A European move could happen soon.
1. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) – Rimando is the best keeper in MLS and has been for some time. He’s the most consistent keeper in the league and is the MLS all time leader in shut-outs. Not the biggest but makes it up for it with his agility and reliability. Has been rewarded for his stellar play in MLS by featuring for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT set up.