US Goalkeeper discussion thread - Part III

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by ussoccer97531, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
  2. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    I don't think Jesse Gonzalez is very good.

    There's a start.
     
  3. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    We should note that Jesse Gonzalez, Zack Steffen, and Ethan Horvath are only 22. They are thus at least a decade away from hitting their primes. They all currently have flaws. Its very hard to know how they're going to advance. But its time to starting working with them and see who wins a role. My money is on Steffen in the near term.....................

    Part of our keeping problem at the moment is that the generation of keepers that are currently 28-32 didn't advance. So outside of Bill Hamid, who's soon to be 27, there's slim pickins there. So yes, we're basically skipping a generation and we're on to the younger ones.
     
  4. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I think we are overall fine at the keeper position. There's no Howard in his prime, but we have good options.

    Hamid is one of our better #1's in a long time, he's just not used as such. I think there's a chance he might be used as such this cycle though, which is good news. And Guzan as a back up is very good for now. Guzan is not a starter level keeper anymore (he was for a few years), but he's a quality back up with experience. At the 2022 WC, he'll be a few months younger than Howard is right now. Its possible that he could drop off, but for the next few years he should be fine.

    3rd GK is a battle between the youngsters. We could use Melia or Johnson or someone like that for the position, but I'm not sure it makes any sense, given Hamid and Guzan as 1 and 2. Those guys will be in their mid/late 30's in 2022, do we want all our GK's to be in their 30's like we had this cycle? So unless they can claim spots 1 or 2, and I don't currently think they can, I think they are more options for the fringe and to fill out rosters when a few options aren't available.

    Onto the battle between the youngsters, I currently think Steffen is the top candidate. He's really asserted his presence within the pool the last number of months, which makes sense. He's towards the end of his first full season as a starter. Its unrealistic to expect him to be great right away, but he's figuring out the professional level. I also think he has great upside, I regard him as a Howard type of keeper, he's so reminiscent of Howard in his reactions, same height, command of his area.

    After that, I think there's a drop-off. Gonzalez has shown well at times, but I'm just not sure he's going to ever polish off his game. So far, he's not done so. He has nice reflexes and good size, but he's not good with his feet and is raw in many of the technical aspects of the position. Horvath has really taken a step back, he's been given great opportunities to progress, but has not in 2017. I thought he was more advanced of a keeper than Gonzalez, Steffen, Bono, some of these younger keepers, with limited upside compared to some of them, but he's now showing that he isn't currently all that polished himself. He needs to regain his position at Brugge and his form, he's not accomplished much yet. His spot is not solidified. He can easily be passed by others. Bono is a quality keeper, I think he's reliable, but not spectacular. He could be a good option for #3 if the three above falter.

    And then we have some younger guys like Scott, Garces, Vom Steeg, Lopez, Muse, Silva who could emerge in the next few years, so we have options at the keeper position and I think we have quality in keepers who will get on the field for the NT.
     
  5. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    Hamid should get a plurality of the minutes for the next 6-7 months until the coaching situation is settled and we can determine whether he is able to establish himself in Denmark.

    Beyond that, I see no reason to commit to any 1 goalkeeper in particular right now.
     
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  6. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    We don't have any guys who are obvious quality, like Howard. We're in the same boat as many national teams - a bunch of guys who all look kinda good but have their flaws and we'll have to hope one eventually rises above the others.

    The US really has benefited from having good keepers ready when we needed them. Up til now, we usually depended on our great keeper to cover up for the defenders' inconsistencies. Now .... now we need our defenders to return the favor...
     
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  7. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    It struck me after the fact that that second goal against Howard in Trinidad...
    (1:15 mark)



    ...was essentially his Ronaldinho - David Seaman moment from the 02 World Cup:
    (0:21 mark)



    Almost identical spot on the field, it was the strike that made it clear that a keeper's time was up.

    Makes me sad to realize it. Howard had an amazing run for us.
     
  8. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    #8 grandinquisitor28, Nov 16, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    I'd rather give the minutes to the kids over the next 17 months or so in the friendlies we play. I've never quite been sold on Guzan, and I'm even less impressed these days. Give the minutes to the kids to get familiar with the full international, and domestic based defenses etc, then let club form and international form dictate who wins the battle to be our keeper at the Gold Cup and potential the Copa America in '19 if we go.

    I don't see the point in Guzan mostly because I just don't see a lot of upside, just a downward trend.Temporarily I'd have Steffen #1 just because of the minutes but I'd anticipate it evolving into Hamid-Horvath-Steffen-Gonzalez in that order potentially for the time being and then just see how it fleshes out over the next 18 months. This reminds me that discussing what we want to happen versus what we think will happen is a dichotomy worth presenting in a thread because despite all our most fervant hopes, I fully anticipate Bradley, Altidore, and the rest of the "we want to flush them" crew to be back in camp in '18, expletiving us all off for months on end.
     
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  9. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    #9 butters59, Nov 16, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  10. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I don’t watch much of SKC, but he has seemed pretty solid from what I have seen. Is Frei eligible yet? If so, I’d probably focus on 4 veterans and 4 younger guys over next year to find my 3 keepers.

    Melia, Frei, Guzan, Hamid (I think says a lot that this guy isn’t in top 6)
    Steffen, Bono, Horvath, Gonzalez

    I’d probably invite all 6 mls guys from that group to the January camp.

    Player Vote % Club Vote % Media Vote % Average %
    Tim Melia (SKC)......46.12% 48.81% 55.95% 50.29%
    Andre Blake (PHI)....15.51% 7.14% 7.74% 10.13%
    Stefan Frei (SEA)...... 4.49% 7.14% 13.10% 8.24%
    Alex Bono (TOR)....... 2.86% 5.95% 4.17% 4.33%
    Sean Johnson (NYC) 2.86% 4.76% 5.36% 4.33%
    Brad Guzan (ATL)......3.67% 2.38% 1.79% 2.61%
     
  11. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    By the way, save of the year went to Brad Guzan.

    It'll be interesting to see how folks view Guzan versus other MLSers like Melia over a whole season. Cuz Guzan was pretty darn good for Atlanta in limited action.


    I know statistics don't tell the whole story, but statistically speaking................Guzan had a better goals against average than Melia. He also had a higher save percentage than Melia. And Guzan didn't have the defenders in front of him that Melia did. Now that was only over 14 games for Guzan. However, if he'd played at that level over a full MLS season, he'd have had a strong argument for goalkeeper of the year.

    Now I'm not advocating for Guzan to be the starter for the USMNT. All this love for Melia is great, but there's zero evidence that he's better than Brad Guzan. Zero.
     
  12. asoc

    asoc Member+

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tacoma
    Frei is eligible. He was called up to January camp but got a knock in training I believe.

    Frei lead the league in shutouts this year.
    This article has a table, granted its Sounders/Frei focused, 2014-2017 numbers.
    But it has some data to look at comparing keepers.
    https://www.sounderatheart.com/2017/11/17/16667498/stefan-frei-playoff-record

    Melia and Hamid actually have quite similar stats with similar time played. Melia has the much better GAA...
     
  13. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    Guzan fits well in MLS. And to be fair, the last several games for USMNT has had junk back lines (at least in performance) but we can't go back to any of those IMO. To me, he's peaked and banking on him either getting better or even maintaining where he's at for 5 years is not a good plan. Maybe he's #3 for that mysterious value of a senior presence in practice, etc.

    At goaltender, like midfield, the USMNT must turn to it's youth.
     
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    He seems pretty minimally athletic from what I've seen.
     
  15. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I’d agree, but he makes for a lot of it with good positioning, footwork, and decision making. He is also very quick, so often he makes a quick decision and commits to it such that his footwork and quickness allows him to cover a lot of ground. I think physical limitations show up the most on crosses or high shots. [disclaimer... all views based on watching highlights videos this morning]

    I’m a big fan of shorter, quick goalkeepers. Since they can’t rely on athletiscm, they are forced to be very good at all the basics and mentally strong. They may give up goals that a more athletic keeper might make, but tend to give up fewer soft ones that can be so deflating for a team.

    I found Melia highlights for 2015 & 17. Lots of good stuff in there. I also looked for games this year where he gave up multiple goals and found that he had a few two goal games but never gave up more than that. I picked two games back to back early in the season, and thought in each there was a goal very few keepers could make and one that he could have prevented if he would have committed on the cross/ball over the top.







     
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  16. ifsteve

    ifsteve Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jul 7, 2013
    MS and ID
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There is simply zero reason to give Guzan any minutes short of a farewell match. He is not going to factor in the next Gold Cup or qualification cycle. Playing him anymore only takes away minutes from the players who may be a part of the future.

    That is not a knock on Brad. But his time is past. Move forward. We have plenty of options to share the load moving forward. The only way to find the right guy or two for down the road is to start playing them in every single MNT match.
     
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  17. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This goes for any player who will be on the wrong side of 30 in 2022. Your chance to get more caps hinged on making the WC in 2018. You didn't so now the US needs to prepare for the next one when you will be too old. Sucks but you had a chance and blew it.
     
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  18. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    The USA put up a rather dismal performance on home soil in the U-17 Nike Friendlies, but the standout in the team was the goalkeeper Damian Las who's been mentioned here before. He kept the first game of the tournament against England close by standing on his head, and looked good in the other two games he played (he nearly took a goal out of the net against Brazil, just couldn't steer it away from the goal after getting his hand on it).

    Its not often the best player in a youth age group is the keeper, but it seems to be the case right now with the 02's. He's a definite name to keep track of as maybe the top goalkeeping prospect in the US ranks. He has trained before with Barcelona, and its been mentioned here before that he has access to a Polish passport. He could also sign with his MLS side Chicago Fire.
     
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  19. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A lot will and should change after the World Cup. In the mean time, I want to see Bill Hamid, Jesse Gonzalez, Ethan Horvath, Zack Steffen, and Alex Bono. They’ll form the big five.

    You could argue Melia, obviously, but he’s simply too old. Guzan needs a break from the senior team and should only be considered if he regains peak form and all of the top choices don’t show worth anything. Johnson, Bendik, Bingham, and the like, are on the outside looking in. Considering goalkeeper needs some level of consistency, they will and should only be called up if we need training fodder.

    The youth candidates are really not impressive yet. Klinsmann is unlikely to ever be a serious option unless he proves that to be wrong. Garces is probably a generation away. And all the other candidates aren’t really noteworthy yet. They should stick with the u23s for now.

    From the big five, I just want to see some rotation until after the World Cup. Give everyone a fair shake and an opportunity to impress the new coach.
     
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  20. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Horvath didn't even make his team's squad this week, can't be in the NT rotation right now, if thats the case. We'll see if it continues into 2018, but for now I think Steffen has a definite advantage over him.
     
  21. Black Tide

    Black Tide Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    the 8th Dimension
    The problem with Melia is age. He is nearly 32, by the time the next world cup roles around he will be 36/37. Unfortunately for him he does not seem an option going forward.

    Our other big problem is that we have riden the wave of Meola, Keller, Friedel, Hannimann, and Howard whom were more than just shot stoppers. (Though Howard in his early years play was predicated on athletic ability) They understood positioning and were tactically sound. Looking at our young guys, and I am including Guzan, they all seem to be good shot stoppers which is imporant, but put some distance between the ball and goal and they start looking like Shay Given or Calamity David James.

    No of them seem all that tactically sound. And are good for 1 or 2 plays of atrocious positioning per game. Granted they are young, but if you look at some of our earlier keepers in the same age range and the story is very different. I hope one of them figures it, but I am not sure who it is going to be, if any of them
     
  22. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Meh.

    Who knows he could be angling a move away from his club. Besides It’s not helpful to be so strict with who gets a call up right now. We’re in the phase of needing to cast a wide net.... he should be in that net.
     
  23. mattjo

    mattjo Member+

    Feb 3, 2001
    Washington DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maybe he is in the keeper pool, but keepers need to be playing. It is hard to stay sharp when on the bench. Horvath just got to Belgium and my understanding is he has a higher salary than the other two competitors who made the starting squad this past week. Not sure how much leverage he has to force a move and probably a bit premature to suggest that. Not sure how other clubs would react to a young player, getting paid well, losing his starting spot after spotty play, then trying to force a transfer. Regardless, regular PT is vital for everybody but especially young keepers.
     
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  24. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    That's funny...I was watching the kid make all those stops and get after his teammates to make some stops and I was thinking he should get the "Mike Ditka" award because they said he was from Chicago.

    He should go for the Polish passport and get over to Europe.
     
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  25. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    He was benched, and then was awful on international duty. It could be something other than form, but I think he probably just isn't preferred right now.

    I wouldn't rule him out or anything but if we were picking a team right now, he would not be in consideration, due to his complete lack of recent PT.

    Hamid, Guzan, Steffen for now. After that, Gonzalez, Bono, maybe Melia, if we want to give an older keeper playing time. If Horvath starts playing again and playing well, he'll be back in the equation at GK.
     
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