The Save of the Week king is back.
Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik, a regular Save of the Week winner in 2016, smoked the field to win the Week 14 honor, with his incredible stop in the Lions’ 2-0 win against D.C. United on May 31 taking home a whopping 86 percent of the vote.
This wasn’t some case of Orlando fans stuffing the ballot box, either. Bendik was absolutely deserving of the award, making a ridiculous recovery save to deny Sebastien Le Toux what looked like a sure equalizer.
The 28-year-old was put in a terrible position by defender Jose Aja, who hit a weak back pass that D.C.’s Lamar Neagle intercepted just outside the box. Neagle rounded the onrushing Bendik outside the area, but had his close range shot denied by Orlando defender Jonathan Spector. The shot caromed off of Spector and into the air, with Le Toux setting up shop inside the six-yard box for what appeared to be a tap-in header.
Bendik had other ideas, however. He raced back from his position outside the box, leapt into the air and punched the ball away at the last moment – essentially taking it off of Le Toux’s head – to preserve Orlando’s 1-0 lead and send Lions fans into rapture.
New York’s Luis Robles, New England’s Cody Cropper, Philadelphia’s Andre Blake and Columbus’ Zack Steffen filled out the Save of the Week field, but only Robles finished with more than 3 percent of the vote.
Bendik and Orlando have the weekend off and will return to action on June 14 with a fourth-round Open Cup contest against NASL club Miami FC. Their next MLS match is on June 17 at home against Montreal.
Watch all five of the Week 14 Save of the Week nominees here.