Goal keepers

Why Andre Blake and David Bingham Shouldn't Win Goalkeeper of the Year by Bill Reno

The MLS All-Stars fell 2-1 to Arsenal in the most recent all-star game, with Philadelphia’s Andre Blake and San Jose’s David Bingham splitting time in net. On paper, the two selections make sense. Blake started for Jamaica in the Gold Cup this summer and Bingham was in the running for being the third stringer for the US. But as we've passed the halfway point of the season, the next time a goalkeeper will be selected to represent MLS is with the annual Goalkeeper of the Year Award. The two have a myriad of saves, but are they really deserving of MLS’s most and only prestigious goalkeeping award? More after the jump.

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ASA First Touch: Colorado's waste of resources by ASA Staff

Finally, the Secretary of Defense is home. Though the game ended in the dreaded 0-0 tie, Tim Howard’s debut with the Rapids was surely the biggest storyline of the week. When his signing was originally announced, there was no doubt he would take over immediately as the starter, but it did create a tremor of controversy.  Are the Rapids really best served by changing their goalkeeper after letting in the fewest goals of any team after 16 games?

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Do Keepers in MLS Have a Weaker Side? by Alex Rathke

In Week Two of the 2016 MLS season, I watched the Houston Dynamo beat FC Dallas 5-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. After the match I saw the Shot on Target (SoT) statistics and noticed Houston had taken three shots on goal towards the lower right-hand side against Dallas’s keeper Jesse Gonzalez. Was Gonzalez weaker on his left side? Since I was a young boy playing soccer, I've heard numerous coaches talk about a goalkeepers’ “weaker side”. Is there something the coaches know about goalkeeper weaknesses that we analysts don’t? 

More after the jump.

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The State of MLS Goalkeeping So Far in 2016: "Meh" by Bill Reno

Well looks like my hot takes from last month are already starting to crumble. Let’s take a quick run through before we go into MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Power Rankings.

1. Luis Robles and David Ousted will duke it out for Goalkeeper of the Year again - Off to a rough start to say the least. I wouldn’t count them out completely, but the first month was definitely not kind to them. Expect them to turn it around, but it will take a strong push to get them in the conversation for a second year. However, play across the board has been thin by the majority of goalkeepers so maybe just maybe.

2. Dykstra will make people momentarily forget about Bill Hamid - Well the injury definitely was not kind but there could be some time for Dykstra to start before Hamid gets back to 100%. The jury is still out on this although they are all heavily leaning “no” at the moment.

3. Tim Howard will have a forgettable year - The 2-0 loss to Guatemala isn’t helping his case, let me just say that.

4. Sean Johnson starts seeing his way out in Chicago - The strongest prediction as of right now. There’s been rumors of wrist injuries but it seems he’s been on the bench mostly due to a coach’s decision. Even if Johnson does top Matt Lampson in the depth chart, don’t count out Patrick McLain. At this point, I’d expect McLain to get a game over Johnson.

5. Philadelphia and Los Angeles’ goalkeeping woes continue - Andre Blake is red hot right now but knowing Philadelphia juju, it seems a strong possibility that they will sign four more goalkeepers and Blake willl pick up a knock sooner than later. Rowe is sitting even keel between boom and bust right now but to be honest, all of this doesn’t matter until playoffs come. That will be the make or break for these teams.

More after the jump.

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MLS Goalkeepers: Predictions for the 2016 Season by Bill Reno

It’s March and we all know what that means: every writer across the nation is baking up their hottest takes to ultimately not be held accountable at the end of the season. Well ASA is allowing me to put their upstanding reputation on the line with five predictions for MLS’s gloved men heading into the 2016 season. Make sure to bookmark this post so you can link it to everyone at ASA in eight months and give us a boost in hits come November!

1. Luis Robles and David Ousted will duke it out for Goalkeeper of the Year again - If there’s one thing that has proven consistent with the award, the goalkeeper on the team who wins their conference has a great shot of winning the award. Dating back to when the league split to two conferences, ten of the fourteen years GOTY winners have gone to goalkeepers whose teams finished first in their conference. This means Tim Melia (SKC) and Clint Irwin (Toronto) also have a decent shot but Robles and Ousted are the best bets. It’s a rare sight to see either goalkeeper costing their team points in a game and both of their teams are looking to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield again.

Four more predictions after the jump.

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2015 in MLS Goalkeepers, and looking ahead to 2016 by Bill Reno

2015 was an up and down year for MLS goalkeeping. We had some surprise seasons from Stefan Frei, Tyler Deric, and David Ousted, all of which had question marks going into 2015 but clearly did work during the offseason to prepare themselves for the year. Now moving forward, each club’s fan base is excited for their goalkeeper and is probably calling them “one of the best in the league”. Jesse Gonzalez matched the young blood theme in Dallas and gave a great performance against Seattle that went into penalties. David Bingham earned praise for finally taking over the starting role in San Jose and Old Man Saunders led the league in saves with New York City. Even Brek Shea notched himself a great save for the season.

Tim Melia returned from the abyss to start for Sporting Kansas City and won perhaps the most ambiguous MLS award: Comeback Player of the Year. But most notably, Luis Robles won Goalkeeper of the Year after winning the Supporters’ Shield with New York Red Bulls. He was rewarded with a USMNT call up and hopes to add on to his single cap with the upcoming friendlies.

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MLS Cup Goalkeepers Review and Yearly Awards by Bill Reno

Well it wasn’t Steve Clark’s best game. The first minute disaster will be the lasting memory for all Crew fans. Even when Columbus scored to make it 2-1 early in the game, it still felt like Columbus was trying to recover from an insurmountable debt. The gaffe was replayed at least twenty times over the duration of the broadcast. However Clark was far from the worst problem on the field. Anyone that wants to put the loss on Clark’s shoulders is ignoring the other 89 minutes of the game.

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GOTY: ASA IDKMYBFFJILL by Bill Reno

The finalists have been announced! We’re down to three goalkeepers that are all quality players in their own right. Bill Hamid. Luis Robles. David Ousted. You know the names or else you wouldn’t be reading this. All three have led their team to playoffs and have just a little time left to show who should become the 2015 Audi Cup MLS Audi Goalkeeper of the Audi Year [sic]. But don’t take my word for it, let’s hear what each of the nominees have to say for themselves. Here at ASA, we’ve obtained quotes from each of the goalkeepers that may or may not actually be from the goalkeepers themselves.

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Guzan v Howard: Battle of the Balds by Bill Reno

Classic USMNT. While the rest of our team is struggling to keep its head above water, we’re overflowing with bald talent at goalkeeper. It’s one position we haven’t had a worry about since before Jimmy Douglas’ first World Cup shutout in 1930 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. Brad Guzan and Tim Howard fill the depth chart for the Americans and the question of “Who should start?” is as unanswered as a year ago.

Unlike Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel Guzan and Howard seem to actually enjoy playing with each other. There’s nothing wrong with love and even though we’re all glad the animosity between the goalkeepers isn’t DEFCON 5, we’re still not sure who should be in net. Klinsmann has stated multiple times that Guzan is his number one moving forward but after a four goal outing against Brazil for Guzan, Howard may have found his foot in the door.

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Measuring Goalkeepers: The Limitations of Goals - xGoals by Bill Reno

Last month we took a look at how bad the Goals Against Average (GAA) stat is for evaluating goalkeepers and how the save percentage (S%) is slightly better. To show the inefficiencies of the GAA and S%, I compared them to ASA’s own unique stat of Goals Minus Expected Goals (GmxG). The GmxG looks at where shots are taken, calculating the likelihood of a shot going in from that distance and angle to goal, which ends up telling us if a goalkeeper is giving up too many goals given the circumstances. This is great for a couple of reasons, the main one being that we have a more accurate reading on shots on goal than the ol’ shot percentage. If one goalkeeper consistently sees shots from distance while another is routinely left out to dry by his defense, the GmxG will let us know how many goals each goalkeeper should be conceding even if their SOG and goals are similar. However there are some shortcomings with any stat and the GmxG isn’t any different.

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