Through seven weeks of the 2022 MLS season, which goalkeepers have excelled? The last couple of years, the elite in that position have been Matt Turner of the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union netminder Andre Blake.

But a fresh crop of top goalkeepers (at least statistically) have emerged through Opta's expected goals figures, overperforming or underperforming against the underlying numbers.

Let's take a closer look.

Early leaders

Chicago Fire FC sensation Gaga Slonina, 17, leads the charge, posting five clean sheets in the Ezra Hendrickson era's early days. The US men's national team prospect continues to generate transfer buzz, too.

Maarten Paes was signed by FC Dallas in January on a short-term loan (through July) from Eredivisie side FC Utrecht. The Dutch goalkeeper has since found impressive form in MLS, posting three shutouts himself.

The same applies to an established starter in Pedro Gallese, with the Peruvian international buoying Orlando City SC's strong start. He's been forced into just 15 saves, a testament to the Lions' stout defense.

Here are the early top 10 leaders:

Goalkeeper xG – Top 10 through Week 7
Player
Expected goals
Goals conceded
xG difference
Gabriel Slonina (CHI)
7.96
2
5.96
Maarten Paes (DAL)
8.87
4
4.87
Pedro Gallese (ORL)
9.45
6
3.45
Dayne St. Clair (MIN)
7.25
4
3.25
Brad Stuver (ATX)
9.98
7
2.98
Bill Hamid (DC)
10.93
8
2.93
Stefan Frei (SEA)
7.67
5
2.67
Carlos Coronel (RBNY)
8.52
6
2.52
Sean Johnson (NYC)
8.45
6
2.45
Joe Willis (NSH)
10.31
8
2.31

Early trailers

There is, of course, the other side of the coin and that's where we find these 10 goalkeepers who will want some goals back.

Atop that list is Sebastian Breza of CF Montréal, who has conceded 16 times this season. He's on his second loan from Italian Serie A sister side Bologna.

Former Montréal goalkeeper Clément Diop, who is now with Inter Miami CF, faced a tough couple of matches while Nick Marsman recovered from injury. The one-time Senegalese international trained with IMCF for much of last year before signing.

It's also been a struggle for the New England Revolution duo of Brad Knighton and Earl Edwards Jr., who have both spelled an injured Turner through the first seven weeks. The 2021 Supporters' Shield winners signed Serbian international Djordje Petrovic in early April, with Turner set to join Premier League side Arsenal at the end of June.

Goalkeeper xG – Bottom 10 through Week 7
Player
Expected goals
Conceded goals
xG difference
Sebastian Breza (MTL)
9.39
16
-6.61
Clément Diop (MIA)
3.48
7
-3.52
Brad Knighton (NE)
2.38
5
-2.62
JT Marcinkowski (SJ)
15.1
17
-1.9
Tim Melia (SKC)
12.14
14
-1.86
Thomas Hasal (VAN)
12.57
14
-1.43
Maxime Crépeau (LAFC)
5.63
7
-1.37
Aljaz Ivacic (POR)
11.77
13
-1.23
Alec Kann (CIN)
13.05
14
-0.95
Earl Edwards Jr. (NE)
7.2
8
-0.8

League-wide picture

The graph below illustrates how all MLS goalkeepers (minimum 270 minutes played) have performed this season when analyzing the difference between expected vs. conceded goals.

The first half of the chart (green) reflects the keepers who have overperformed their expected goals and have displayed excellent shot-stopping through the first seven weeks of the season (i.e. Slonina). The bottom half (red) displays goalies who have underperformed (i.e. Breza), according to Opta's data.

Xg goalie