As we count down to the 2013 SuperDraft on Thursday, MLSsoccer.com is ranking the top 10 players available to MLS teams by position. Today, Matthew Doyle looks at the best goalkeepers in the class of 2013.
Quick, name an MLS team that needs an upgrade at ‘keeper.
Not that easy, is it? Sure, there are a few teams out there – Philadelphia, Vancouver, maybe New England – with a youngish No. 1 who could use some more time. But if you replace him/them via the Draft, guess what you get? A youngish No. 1 who could/would most likely need more time to be a top pro 'keeper.
But hey, it worked for Ryan Meara.
10. Kyle Zobeck (Valparaiso): A sleeper, perhaps? Zobeck kept a bad team in a lot of games the past few years, and showed good feet in the process.
9. Larry Jackson (Santa Clara): Undersized (listed at 5-foot-11, but that’s generous), but he has long arms and soft hands. Think Brian Perk of LA. Needs reps to read when to come off his line better.
8. Brian Roselund (San Francisco): Prototypical big (6-foot-6) ‘keeper who can’t be beat up top, but struggles getting down on low shots.
7. Brad Stuver (Cleveland State): Good length and reflexes make him a good shot-stopper, but doesn’t organize his defense or command his box. Would be a project.
6. Michael Abalos (CSU Northridge): Good size (6-foot-3) and good instincts for the conference ‘keeper of the year. Makes a living stuffing point-blank shots, but there will be questions about box management and distribution.
5. David Meves (Akron): Just a good all-around ‘keeper with nothing outstanding about his game. Organizes his defense and communicates well, but has questionable range and feet.
4. Scott Goodwin (North Carolina): A bit undersized, a bit indecisive coming off his line at times, and certainly not tested much behind that great Carolina defense of the last four years. But… he kept winning the whole time, and was pure money in PK shootouts.
3. Justin Luthy (Boston College): Became one of the nation’s most consistent goalkeepers over the last three years despite the Eagles going through some struggles. Not huge, but gets off his line well, stays calm and doesn’t make bad mistakes. Columbus Crew Home Grown who wasn’t offered a contract.
2. Luis Soffner (Indiana): Probably has the most upside of any ‘keeper in the draft, and if you’re going just by the College Cup, you’d swear he was a first-round pick. But his career was marred by concentration lapses up to that point. If those are a thing of the past, he could be a starter someday.
1. James Belshaw (Duke): Belshaw has been one of the standouts at the Combine at any position. Not wildly athletic, but he’s made some great saves and has been mistake-free off his line. Does a fantastic job of communicating with his defense. Only problem for a team taking a flier on him? He’s English, so he’ll require an international slot. But if somebody decides they need a starting ‘keeper right away from this draft class, Belshaw’s the best bet.
Catch up on the entire SuperDraft Top 10 series: