AMSTERDAM – Following a star showing in their 1-1 Europa League group stage draw with Ajax on Thursday night, Molde FK netminder Ethan Horvath drew high praise from none other than all-time goalkeeping great Edwin van der Sar.
The former Netherlands superstar, now a marketing executive with original club Ajax, watched the young American notch 10 saves to keep the Norwegian holders atop Group D. He came away duly impressed.
"Ethan Horvath delivered some class saves," Van der Sar told Aftenposten. "I know a little about him through contact I have had with [Molde goalkeepers coach] Richard Hartis, who was my coach at Manchester United."
The goalkeeping legend complimented Horvath's reflexes and hinted that he will draw plenty of transfer attention with more nights like Thursday's at Aker Stadion.
"He has every reason to be pleased with himself," judged Van der Sar, who won the Champions League with Ajax and was a three-time Premier League Team of the Year honoree with Manchester United.
"One can see that he is ambitious and talented. He can use these matches in Europe to make his mark. Matches in the Europa League are also opportunities to show themselves to a larger audience."
Since taking over the top job in May, Horvath has chalked up 10 wins and eight clean sheets. Those totals have the US Olympic squad candidate currently ranked sixth all-time in wins by an American netminder during his "rookie" European campaign and tied for fifth among all countrymen in first-year shutouts.