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MLS Positional Awards: Bingham takes top goalkeeping spot
by Ridge Mahoney, January 2nd, 2017 4:18PM
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TAGS:  colorado rapids, d.c. united, fc dallas, lionel messi, mls, philadelphia union, san jose earthquakes


By Ridge Mahoney
It was a strange year for goalkeepers in MLS.

Colorado conceded the fewest goals with two keepers splitting time right down the middle and the keeper that had backstopped Portland to the 2015 MLS Cup title, Adam Kwarasey, left the league.

Several teams, such as New York City FC, were strong in several areas but not always reliable on goal. Along with the Timbers, 2015 MLS Cup finalist Columbus failed to make the playoffs and during the offseason declined the contract option on starter Steve Clark.

Once regarded as the among the brightest young keepers in MLS, Sean Johnson left Chicago and after a pair of trades wound up at NYCFC by way of expansion team Atlanta, which is expected to announce the acquisition of USA keeper Brad Guzan in early January.

SA's Top 10
1. David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes)
2. Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
3. Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
4. Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
5. Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
6. Brian Rowe (L.A. Galaxy)
7. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders)
8. Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
9. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
10. Zac MacMath (Colorado Rapids)

Bingham finished fifth in save percentage (72.6), tied for fourth in shutouts (8), and was the main reason the goal-challenged Quakes -- they scored, 32, seven fewer than any other team -- stayed anywhere close in the playoff chase. Seitz posted 10 shutouts and aside from a couple of hiccups handled his duties well. Nobody pulled off more spectacular saves than the quick, elastic Blake, whose rare fumbles didn’t prevent him from winning the Goalkeeper of the Year award.

SA Positional Rankings:
Outside Backs: TFC duo heads the pack
Center Backs: Birnbaum and Van Damme command the slots
Outside Midfielders: Lodeiro and Piatti dominate the flanks
Central Midfielders: Kljestan, Felipe, Alonso top the midfield slots
Attackers: Wright-Phillips, Giovinco take top spots up front

Robles, Goalkeeper of the Year in 2015, played every minute for the fourth straight season, led the league with 11 shutouts and finished eighth in saves (100). Howard swooped back to MLS in midseason to take over for MacMath, and after posting seven shutouts in 17 regular-season games came up big in the playoffs. A couple of atrocious errors marred a very good campaign for Rowe, whose heavy workload (113 saves) still produced nine shutouts. The scales of justice finally tilted in the right direction for whose heavy workload (113 saves) still produced nine shutouts. The scales of justice finally tilted in the direction of Frei, whose comeback from injuries during his time in Toronto came full circle with his incredible save and shootout stop in the MLS Cup final.

A knee injury sidelined Hamid until early July;  he posted five shutouts and was fourth in save percentage at 73.1 but allowed 1.25 goals per game. Rimando remains in the top tier of keepers though his stats -- 1.33 goals per game, six shutouts, 91 saves -- were not stellar. MacMath, as mentioned, the lost the starting gig after a remarkable 0.76 GAA and six shutouts.

  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: January 2, 2017 at 7:07 p.m.
    Who was #1 in save %?
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: January 2, 2017 at 11:58 p.m.
    All keepers rely on their defense for clean sheets.

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