The race for Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year is an interesting one in 2020, since there doesn't seem to be a single candidate who has separated himself as an obvious frontrunner.
Philadelphia's Andre Blake, New England's Matt Turner and Orlando City SC's Pedro Gallese have all had standout campaigns, and you'd be able to make a solid case for any of them. There are also veteran stalwarts like New York City FC's Sean Johnson, Nashville SC's Joe Willis, Sporting Kansas City's Tim Melia and Seattle's Stefan Frei who will all likely have vocal contingents of their fan bases arguing their credentials.
The Extratime crew weighed in on the debate, with Matt Doyle stumping for Turner, despite what he said was an uncharacteristically subpar performance in the Revs' last match against D.C. United.
"I think Sean Johnson’s had an awesome year, I just think Turner’s ability as a shot-stopper separates him, even though he actually had a terrible game this weekend," Doyle said. "He gave up two goals I thought he could’ve done better on. He has kept the Revs in games that they just didn’t belong in at times, and then he basically never makes mistakes. The only knock on his shot-stopping is he has a slight propensity to get chipped. But that’s based on positioning and being super aggressive coming out, which I would always rather have a goalkeeper who’s a little more aggressive than one who stays on his line and gives up a bigger angle."
Blake's name was the one most prominently raised on the show, with the Union backstop putting in a great season between the posts to help his side move within reach of the Supporters' Shield. The Jamaican international went down with a fractured hand in Philly's 2-1 win over Chicago Fire FC last week, but could his absence actually serve to highlight his value and bolster his case?
"This is a year where I don’t know that there’s an obvious, obvious candidate because you have some wrenches thrown in the process," show host Andrew Wiebe said. "Voting isn’t I believe due until right after Decision Day and recency bias is a very real thing in these awards. With Andre Blake being out, maybe that could reinforce the fact he was this good."
While Doyle said he also believes Blake to have a fair shout, he did note that he perhaps wasn't quite at the same level for the rest of the season after a dominant showing at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando where he reeled off an array of highlight-reel saves.
"Andre Blake has been really good, but Andre Blake during the MLS is Back Tournament was insanely good," Doyle said. "What he did over that six-game stretch for Philadelphia was unreal. Since then, he's been good. He hasn't been at the same level as he was in July."
Who do you have for this year's Goalkeeper of the Year? Let us know in the comments below.