The MLS is not exactly known for being among the top leagues in world football, and their pool of players only do so much to refute that claim. However, certain aspects of the league – at least in terms of positions their players play in – have been improving over time; in particular, their pool of goalkeepers. With integration of some form or another into their country’s respective national teams, goalkeepers in the MLS are among the league’s hottest properties.
Six of these top 10 keepers have been called up at least once in their career to the U.S. national team, while two others are regular keepers for their respective countries – one of whom is expected to be the main man between the sticks for Brazil’s national team during the World Cup they’ll be hosting this summer. The MLS has a mixture of established keepers with international experience, as well as younger ones who are still on their way towards making their names familiar to even the most casual MLS viewers.
While there are certain notable omissions among this list of goalkeepers – Raul Fernandez, Dan Kennedy and Jaime Penedo were three who missed the cut for this list – it’s proof that goalkeepers are among the most positionally strong areas of Major League soccer, and these 10 men are some the league’s most shining examples of that.
With teams in Orlando, Miami and a second New York team all expected to join the league in the next few years, the MLS’ goalkeeping pool is bound to get even more crowded depending on who each of those expansion clubs can sign. For now, these 10 men are among the cream of the goalkeeping crop in a league that is still developing and trying to establish itself as more than just a retirement home for overseas players. Here are the top 10 goalkeepers in the MLS right now.
10 Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact)
9 Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
8 Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo)
7 Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union)
6 Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes)
5 Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
4 Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
3 Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)
2 Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
1 Julio Cesar (Toronto FC)
Having been offered an escape route from Queen’s Park Rangers in the Championship this season, Julio Cesar is easily the MLS’ most elite keeper thanks primarily to his experience as a top-level keeper for Inter in the Serie A and for the Brazilian national team – for whom he’s expected to be the number one keeper as Brazil attempts to win its sixth World Cup trophy in front of their home fans. However, Julio Cesar may only have a brief stint in the MLS for Toronto due to him being brought to the club on loan, and it remains to be seen how he adapts to the MLS as a member of a big-spending Toronto FC team.
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