Stefan Frei climbs shutout leaderboard: 5 best stats heading into Week 2

Stefan Frei - Seattle Sounders - clapping

Before Week 2 of the 2021 MLS regular season begins, here are five key stats to be aware of – including goalkeepers and youngsters turning heads throughout the league.

Frei moves up shutout leaderboard

Should Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei post a shutout at LAFC on Saturday (6 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes), he’ll take sole ownership of fourth place (83 total) in the MLS all-time shutout rankings.

Frei moved into a tie with Jon Busch after last weekend’s 4-0 win over Minnesota United FC, with Busch reaching 83 career shutouts in 309 games. Frei, whose MLS career began with Toronto FC, can make it shutout No. 84 in what’ll be his 304th MLS game.

The next marker for Frei is third place, which currently belongs to Joe Cannon with 86 clean sheets.

Most shutouts (MLS career)
Most shutouts (MLS career)
Games played
Nick Rimando
Kevin Hartman
Joe Cannon
Jon Busch
Stefan Frei
Zach Thornton
Matt Reis
Luis Robles
Bill Hamid
Sean Johnson

St. Clair unbeaten from the spot

Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair is developing an elite reputation when facing penalty kicks, denying the first three he’s faced in his young MLS career. The latest came against Seattle Sounders striker Raul Ruidiaz in Week 1.

St. Clair, now in his third MLS season, has stopped two of the three PKs he’s faced. The other hit the crossbar.

The 23-year-old is tied with now-D.C. United goalkeeper Jon Kempin for second place in the record books. Meanwhile, Ian Feuer stopped the first four penalty kicks he faced in 1998 while with the New England Revolution.

Marshall-Rutty's helping hand

Toronto FC forward Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty has a bright future, and now the teenager has his name etched in the record books.

During last weekend’s 4-2 defeat against CF Montréal, Marshall-Rutty became the seventh-youngest player to record their first MLS assist. He accomplished that at 16 years and 305 days, trailing now-Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies by one place in the table.

When signing with Toronto last year, Marshall-Rutty became the 11th-youngest player to sign an MLS contract.

Youngest player to record first MLS assist
Youngest player to record first MLS assist
Freddy Adu
May 22, 2004
DC vs. COL
14 years, 355 days
Gianluca Busio
Aug. 8, 2018
KC vs. HOU
16 years, 68 days
Diego Fagundez
Sept. 25, 2011
NE vs. CHI
16 years, 223 days
Santino Quaranta
June 13, 2001
DC vs. MET
16 years, 242 days
Efrain Alvarez
March 2, 2019
LA vs. CHI
16 years, 256 days
Alphonso Davies
Aug. 23, 2017
16 years, 294 days
Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty
April 17, 2021
16 years, 305 days

Pulskamp makes his mark

An unexpected series of events thrust John Pulskamp into the starting goalkeeper role for Sporting Kansas City last weekend, allowing him to make some history.

Two days before turning 20, Pulskamp made two saves in Sporting’s 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. In the process, he became the third-youngest goalkeeper in MLS history to be credited with a victory.

The only two goalkeepers Pulskamp trailed were D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and US men’s national team legend Tim Howard. Under normal circumstances, Tim Melia is Sporting’s starting goalkeeper but with the veteran set to be missing once more, Pulskamp is expected to deputize again on Friday against Orlando City (7:30 pm ET | FS1, Fox Deportes).

Youngest MLS goalkeeper credited with win
Youngest MLS goalkeeper credited with win
Bill Hamid
19 years, 161 days
May 5, 2010
DC 2, KC 1
Tim Howard
19 years, 165 days
Aug. 18, 1998
MET 4, COL 1
John Pulskamp
19 years, 363 days
April 17, 2021
KC 2, RBNY 1
Zac MacMath
20 years, 41 days
Sept. 17, 2011
PHI 1, CLB 0
Jesse Gonzalez
20 years, 96 days
Aug. 29, 2015
DAL 2, RSL 0

Vermes reaches milestone

In their Friday night match against Orlando City, Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes will reach an exciting milestone.

Vermes will become just the second person in MLS history to feature in 600 matches as a player or a head coach, spanning both league play and the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

Vermes only trails Jason Kreis, who has featured in 662 matches as a player or head coach. He originally became Sporting’s coach midway through the 2009 season.

Sigi Schmid is in third place with 598 MLS games, Dominic Kinnear is in fourth place with 597 MLS games and Ben Olsen is in fifth place with 589 MLS games.