For those in the know, Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted’s save of New York midfielder Sacha Kljestan’s penalty kick attempt in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw between the Whitecaps and Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena wasn’t all that surprising.
Not only had Ousted saved his previous two penalties at Red Bull Arena, stuffing Bradley Wright-Phillips twice from the spot in a 2015 regular season contest (see photo above), but the ‘Caps netminder is one of the best in MLS at denying penalties.
Since he entered the league in 2013, opponents have only scored 14 of their 20 penalties on Ousted, per Opta. The six attempts against Ousted that were either saved or missed are the third most of any ‘keeper in that span, trailing only Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando (11) and New York’s Luis Robles (seven).
As successful as Ousted has been denying penalties, the Red Bulls have been even worse taking them. New York are just 8-for-14 on regular season penalty kick attempts since the start of the 2015 season, with that 57 percent conversion rate the lowest in MLS in that span.
Ousted’s save of Kljestan may be New York’s biggest miss yet. The denial allowed Vancouver to come away with a draw and an away goal from the first leg of the sides’ CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal aggregate goals series, giving the ‘Caps a definite advantage heading into next week’s return leg at BC Place.