NEW YORK – Donovan Ricketts is back on top as the best goalkeeper in Major League Soccer.
Two years after he was sent packing by the LA Galaxy for a younger heir-apparent and a year removed from a sobering turn in net with an expansion team, the 36-year-old Portland Timbers star was named the Allstate MLS Goalkeper of the Year on Wednesday for the second time in his career.
Ricketts – who topped four-time nominee Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake and 2012 award winner Jimmy Nielsen of Sporting Kansas City in the voting – also won the award in 2010, when he helped led the Galaxy to the Supporters’ Shield. He becomes the fourth player in league history to win the award multiple times, joining Zach Thornton, Joe Cannon and Pat Onstad.
Ricketts joins that rare group after a season when he proved indispensible for the Timbers, who battled injuries to their backline all season long. Despite most attention placed on the Timbers’ explosive offensive attack, Ricketts was just as impressive in net, finishing with career highs in shutouts (14) and saves (92) while posting a 0.97 goals-against average, second in the league behind Nielsen (.88) among goalkeepers with at least 20 appearances.
The only time he posted better numbers was during that award-winning season in 2010, when he finished with a suffocating 0.90 goals-against average and 18 wins for the Galaxy. Ricketts battled injuries for much of 2011 and did not play in the final when the Galaxy won the MLS Cup, and he was sent packing to the Montreal Impact in favor of worthy backup Josh Saunders following the season.
Ricketts floundered for 24 games with the expansion Impact in 2012 before the Timbers came calling that August in a deal for fan favorite Troy Perkins, and the rest has been a match made in heaven for both parties since the deal.
The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular-season performance. Ricketts won among both club management and players, while Rimando carried the vote among media members. Luis Robles of the New York Red Bulls finished fourth.
Ricketts was also named to the MLS Best XI on Tuesday, his second appearance on the league’s All-Pro team (2010). Timbers teammates Will Johnson and Diego Valeri were also named to the team.
|PLAYER||% Club Votes||% Media Votes||% Player Votes||WEIGHTED TOTAL|
|1. Donovan Ricketts (POR)||30.61||58.44||28.24||101.34|
|2. Nick Rimando (RSL)||22.45||40.26||21.96||84.67|
|3. Jimmy Nielsen (SKC)||6.12||14.29||3.52||23.93|
|4. Luis Robles (NY)||4.08||9.09||8.82||21.99|
Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Winners:
2013: Donovan Ricketts – Portland Timbers
2012: Jimmy Nielsen – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
2010: Donovan Ricketts – LA Galaxy
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Jon Busch – Chicago Fire
2007: Brad Guzan – Chivas USA
2006: Troy Perkins – D.C. United
2005: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Joe Cannon – Colorado Rapids
2003: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2002: Joe Cannon – San Jose Earthquakes
2001: Tim Howard – MetroStars
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Kevin Hartman – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Zach Thornton – Chicago Fire
1997: Brad Friedel – Columbus Crew
1996: Mark Dodd – Dallas Burn