Now it’s time to find out what the coaches have to say.
For the latest edition of Scout’s Take, MLSsoccer.com spoke to four different coaches – one head man, two goalkeeper coaches and one assistant – about who they think is the best goalkeeper in the league.
Their thoughts on that topic (and more) are below:
Who’s the best goalkeeper in the league?
“The best one overall in the league, if I went out on a limb I would have to say maybe [David] Ousted in Vancouver. And when I say that I would say over the last year and half, two years running. So not just looking at the last month or just this season, but if you wanted to pick the most consistent, best goalkeeper in the league in that window it’s been him.
“There’s just so many strong points to [Ousted's] game. He’s good in the air, he’s very good one-v-one, he’s a very good shot stopper, still has great reactions, decent distribution and I think his all-around game is very good. He’s got a presence and a way about him that just exudes confidence, but for me he’s probably as good a guy as there is in the league right now.”
“For me, it has to be Nick Rimando. I know he doesn’t get as much credit as he should, but day in day out, he makes four, five key saves a game and he makes it look easy, too. I can’t say that everybody’s doing that at the moment. I still think he’s the No. 1 ‘keeper in the league for me. I think [Tim] Howard’s on the decline now, the last few years. And I think Nick is the most consistent over the last five years. I don’t think he’s ever had a bad year, maybe three mistakes a year and that’s unheard of for goalkeepers.”
“I’ll go Tim Howard. Yeah, he’s up there in years but at the same time he can win a game by himself. Obviously, internationally he’s done it at the highest level for a long time, so I’ll go Tim Howard. A little love for Nick Rimando as well, it’s close, but you gotta go with Tim.”
“I think Nick Rimando is obviously the top ‘keeper historically in our league and has done it for a long, long time. He makes the big saves, keeps his team in the game and has ability to control the game and his calmness on the ball really helps their team go.
“If we’re talking most talented, then yeah, obviously you look at Tim Howard. I think another guy to look at… is David Bingham. His ceiling is very high and I think that if he keeps doing well then he might follow in the footsteps of the guys who went over to Europe and were very successful.”
Who’s the most underrated ‘keeper in MLS?
“I actually think there’s a couple, there’s a couple. I think it would be safe to say that Tim Melia probably doesn’t [get enough credit]. I don’t think people realize how quick and how explosive he is, how athletic he is, so he would be one of them for me. Another one might be David Bingham in San Jose, even though I know he’s gotten some sniffs with the national team.
“The young goalkeepers in the league right now, there’s actually four or five that are very, very good. You can include [Bingham], you can include Andre Blake in Philly, Bill Hamid who’s still young in D.C., the kid that’s emerging now in Portland, [Jake] Gleeson, all those guys are guys that I think have bright futures in the league. They’re good starters today and could be outstanding players for their teams and for the league in the future.”
“I think Andre Blake has the ability to be up there as one of the all-time goalkeepers in this league. He has the size, reads the game well and is a pretty decent shot stopper so far. He’s decent on crosses, I think crosses is the only thing he needs to work on, but that comes with time.”
“I think Brian Rowe is definitely one of those people that I think that a lot of people just pass him by. What he’s done this year, his ability to have stepped in and take over the position for [LA] has been tremendous.”
“I don’t know whether it’s because he plays in Canada, but Ousted. He sometimes gets a little bit of love, but for me he’s solid – you know what you’re getting day in, day out. I think Ousted would fall into that category. I don’t know if it’s because the Vancouver guys don’t get the love because of their market, but I would still say that Ousted is one that maybe doesn’t get the recognition but still should be considered with the other names, especially for Goalkeeper of the Year.”