Goalkeepers change games, that much we already know. But who most exceeded expectations during the 2021 MLS regular season, per Opta data?

No one was better in expected goals against difference (xGA) this season than Maxime Crepeau, who conceded 31 times against his expected goals of 44.85, a difference of 13.85, helping guide Vancouver Whitecaps FC to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The Canadian international has been in the league since signing with CF Montréal in 2013, but really leveled up this year.

William Yarbrough is a big reason why the Colorado Rapids topped the Western Conference standings and earned a 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot, exceeding his xGA by 9.26. Carlos Coronel was arguably the New York Red Bulls’ MVP this year, exceeding his xGA by 7.48.

Check out the full table below for the top 10 finishers, as measured by xGA difference:

Goalkeeper xG leaders in 2021 MLS season
Player
Expected goals against
Goals conceded
xGA difference
1. Maxime Crepeau (VAN)
44.85
31
13.85
2. Tim Melia (SKC)
46.44
33
13.44
3. William Yarbrough (COL)
41.26
32
9.26
4. Brad Guzan (ATL)
37
29
8
5. Steve Clark (POR)
37.81
30
7.81
6. Carlos Coronel (RBNY)
40.48
33
7.48
7. Andre Blake (PHI)
30.96
24
6.96
8. Matt Turner (NE)
40.95
35
5.95
9. JT Marcinkowski (SJ)
58.01
53
5.01
10. Stefan Frei (SEA)
20.77
16
4.77