With the 2022 MLS regular season concluding Sunday, the conversation around year-end awards is picking up, including who will be named Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
It’s an award won by Andre Blake twice – in 2016 and 2020. And the Jamaican international is arguably the frontrunner to become the first goalkeeper to capture the award a third time.
Blake is tied with NYCFC's Sean Johnson for the most clean sheets in the league (14) and is a big reason why the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union have enjoyed a historic season defensively, conceding just 26 goals in 33 matches – even after last weekend's shocking 4-0 defeat at Charlotte FC.
Blake, according to Matt Doyle, is enjoying a career year in what has been a sterling career.
“Basically, since 2018, he’s had four outstanding seasons in five. And this might be the best of them,” Doyle said in Extratime's latest episode. “The traditional numbers – goals against, shutouts, saves – all of that is through the roof.”
But Doyle contends there's another prime candidate in New England Revolution midseason addition Djordje Petrovic.
“Petrovic is better,” Doyle proclaimed.
2022 Goalkeeper of the Year | Extratime Awards
The 22-year-old Serbian was signed by the Revs to replace Matt Turner, the 2021 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year who was transferred to English Premier League leaders Arsenal, officially joining in June. Turner is likely the US men’s national team’s No. 1 goalkeeper at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next month.
“Matt Turner is the best goalkeeper I’ve seen in MLS over any four-year stretch because he never made a mistake, and they sold him to Arsenal for $7 million,” Doyle said. “And they brought in Petrovic and they upgraded.”
Petrovic has seven clean sheets in his 20 matches played, alongside a 75.7% save percentage and 4-of-12 penalty kicks stopped. Doyle said what he’s done in 1,800 minutes is more impressive than Blake’s performance in nearly 3,000 minutes.
"They're going to sell this kid for $12-15 million and he's not going to go to an Arsenal-type team to be a backup," Doyle said. "He's going to go to be a starter."
The difference, of course, is the Revs are eliminated from Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs contention, while Blake has backstopped the Union to first place in the Eastern Conference, a spot they can clinch with a win against Toronto FC on Decision Day.
“What he did this year is the goalkeeping equivalent of [Carlos] Vela’s 34 [goals] and 15 [assists] season, except the Revs were so bad, Petrovic did it for a team that missed the playoffs anyway,” Doyle said.
For more from Extratime, check out their latest episode.