Castrol Index: Portland Timbers Donovan Ricketts' consistency lands him the top spot in the 2013 list

Donova Ricketts, Castol Index best of 2013

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USA Today Sports

If you're looking for a reason why the Portland Timbers have made the jump from an eight-win, second-to-last-place Western Conference club in 2012 to the pace setter in the West in 2013, you needn't look much further than goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

Ricketts' steady play in net guided the Timbers to six more wins, and 11 fewer losses compared to a year ago. In his 32 games, the five-year veteran recorded a 13-5-14 record, making 92 saves – several of which were Save of the Week caliber – and had a goals against average of .97. He had been so dominant that, at one point, LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena dubbed him an MVP candidate.

For his consistency, the Castrol Index had Ricketts at the top of the list for 2013. He shook up a list that was forward-dominant a year ago, with the likes of LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane, the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski and Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio in the top three.

The top 'keeper a year ago didn't come in until No. 12, where Michael Gspurning of the Seattle Sounders landed. Along with Ricketts at No. 1, Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando also finished in the top 10 at No. 7. Gspurning did not make the Top 25 this year.

Between Ricketts and Rimando, the list was filled with strikers from No. 2 to 6, including Marco Di Vaio, Mike Magee, Keane, Wondolowski and Jack McInerney. There were 14 forwards, five midfielders, four goalkeepers – Ricketts, Rimando, Luis Robles and Jon Busch – and two defenders – Drew Moor and Jose Goncalves – in the Top 25.

See how players collect points in the Castrol methodology here.

Castrol Index 2013 Top 25 performers

Rank Player Team  Minutes Score
1 Donovan Ricketts Portland Timbers 2,880 810
2 Marco Di Vaio Montreal Impact 2,743 810
3 Mike Magee Chicago Fire 2,790 808
4 Robbie Keane LA Galaxy 1,982 762
5 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 2,610 760
6 Jack McInerney Philadelphia Union 2,253 754
7 Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake 2,430 735
8 Blas Perez FC Dallas 2,020 731
9 Eddie Johnson Seattle Sounders FC 1,725 724
10 Graham Zusi Sporting Kansas City 2,356 714
11 Diego Fagundez New England Revolution 2,425 712
12 Camilo Sanvezzo Vancouver Whitecaps 2,415 705
13 Tim Cahill New York Red Bulls 2,239 699
14 Lamar Neagle Seattle Sounders FC 2,410 683
15 Ryan Johnson Portland Timbers 1,768 681
16 Thierry Henry New York Red Bulls 2,522 681
17 Luis Robles New York Red Bulls 3,060 677
18 Will Bruin Houston Dynamo 2,591 671
19 Drew Moor Colorado Rapids 2,793 664
20 Giles Barnes Houston Dynamo 2,552 647
21 Jose Goncalves New England Revolution 3,060 620
22 Dominic Oduro Columbus Crew 2,852 618
23 Diego Valeri Portland Timbers 2,273 616
24 Jon Busch San Jose Earthquakes 2,970 616
25 Conor Casey Philadelphia Union 2,198 615