Ricketts spearheaded an amazing transformation of LA's leaky
defense - goals allowed cut in half from 62 to 31 - and Keller excelled in his first MLS season. Onstad looks no different at age 41 than he has for most of this decade, which is pretty darn good.
Goalkeeping can't be boiled down to stats. The best keepers stop all the shots they should stop, don't give away cheap ones by dropping crosses or bobbling corners, and every once in a while pull off a brilliant stop.
They also inspire and direct their teammates, destroy chances before they occur by snagging or punching or parrying balls out of the air and smothering those near the ground, distribute efficiently, and extend their range outside the penalty area to deal with through balls with the feet or even the head.
In the six games Reis didn't play, the Revs conceded 14 goals, an average of more than two per game. By leading the league in saves playing on an injury-decimated team that was the only one to make the playoffs with a negative goal difference, Reis did the most to help his team get results.
MLS finalists: Kasey Keller (Seattle), Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA).
Ridge Mahoney's pick: Matt Reis (New England).