Los Angeles Soccer: Goalkeeper of the Year
November, 3, 2010
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was named Major League Soccer's best goalkeeper.
The consensus, it had seemed, was that Major League Soccer's best goalkeeper this season was FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman or Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando, SoCal products who starred at UCLA before going on to big things in the pros.
Don't mention that to the L.A. Galaxy. Nor the voters for MLS's awards. The Galaxy's Jamaican netminder, Donovan Ricketts, was the surprise winner when the league on Wednesday announced its Goalkeeper of the Year.
"It's a good feeling, you know?" said the soft-spoken Ricketts, who's normally dismissive of individual honors. "The goalkeepers in this league are very high-quality goalkeepers. So to be Goalkeeper of the Year is a very high honor."
Asked where this ranks among his individual honors, Ricketts said: "Well, maybe No. 1, because it's the first time I've been Goalkeeper of the Year in anything. So, No. 1. No. 1 out one. ... I think it's No. 1 for the time being, but it's going to be replaced by the MLS Cup [championship]."
Ricketts certainly has been the best goalkeeper over his first two seasons in MLS -- he was a finalist for the honor when Chivas USA's Zach Thornton won last year -- and as such the recognition is most deserved. But the idea that his 2010 campaign was better than those proffered by Hartman (Rancho Palos Verdes/Peninsula HS), an MVP contender until he missed a month late in the season with a knee injury, and Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS), whose spectacular play was pivotal as RSL set an MLS record for fewest goals conceded, is difficult to reconcile.
"I think all three of those goalkeepers had outstanding years ... and all three of those guys were certainly worthy of winning the honor," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "We're real happy it fell to Donovan."