So much has happened since the MLS All-Star break. Montreal has been dethroned from atop the standings, Seattle welcomed Clint Dempsey back to the league and Salt Lake has emerged as the team to beat. One thing hasn’t changed, however. Donovan Ricketts and Nick Rimando have been battling neck and neck as the strongest men in net, and at this point, it appears one of the two will be crowned the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year this November.
This list is how I rank the goalkeepers – sound off in the comments if you see it.
He’s done it again. Donovan Ricketts, who has dominated the Save of the Week category this season, has added two more honors in the past month. More importantly, both of those key saves are reflected in the standings, as his stop against Philly’s Conor Casey kept the sides square for a scoreless draw. The second, a denied header from Jordan Stewart, helped earn Portland three points in a 2-1 victory over San Jose.
Even with some time away from his club last month, Nick Rimando is consistently one of the best keepers around. He’s earned six Save of the Week honors, and he has owned the save percentage category most of this year. RSL has been on a tear as of late, and having a guy like Rimando in goal makes it a threat to take the top seed come playoff time.
Speaking of consistency, Jimmy Nielsen has kept his net clean more than any other MLS keeper. He co-leads MLS in clean sheets and boasts an impressive 1.00 goals-against average. Sporting Kansas City currently has the top spot in the Eastern Conference on a tie breaker, and has the strongest goal differential in the East (11) compared to the runners up, Houston and New England (6).
Tally Hall hasn’t been featured in my top five since the preseason edition of my watch list, but he has quietly produced the past two months and deserves the recognition. Houston has allowed the fewest goals in the league (23) along with New England, and it just so happens that the Dynamo and Revolution are currently on opposite ends of the red line at the fifth and sixth spots in the East.
Luis Robles has been solid all year and has been the reason RBNY hasn't suffered more losses over the past two months. He has also brought stability to a position that was a question mark coming into the season and looks as though he has established himself as the clear-cut No. 1. The Eastern Conference playoff picture is tighter than ever, and Robles has been a big reason New York is near the top.