The MLS class of goalkeeping talent has grown significantly throughout the years, and 2016 wasn’t any different.
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While the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year looks to keep his crown for the second straight season, a returning American star impressed in his homecoming and another CONCACAF keeper made his mark in the Eastern Conference.
New York Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles had another fantastic season in Harrison, battling an ever-changing backline early in the campaign and helping his side reach the top spot in the Eastern Conference in back-to-back seasons.
Meanwhile, right down I-95, Andre Blake made his mark for the Philadelphia Union in a breakout campaign for the former University of Connecticut product.
Then there’s U.S. Men’s National Team shot-stopper Tim Howard, who while only playing half the season, managed to make 54 saves and held a save percentage of 74 percent.
2016 saw other keepers impress as well though, include San Jose Earthquakes netminder David Bingham, who joined Blake on this year’s MLS All-Star Team. Bingham finished sixth in MLS with 106 saves, while only allowing 39 goals in all 34 matches.
Brian Rowe of the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact keeper Evan Bush were also involved in many critical situations throughout the season, with both players boosting their cases for MLS honors by participating on playoff squads.
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PST’s voting for Goalkeeper of the Year was completely unanimous, with Andre Blake sweeping the first-place vote.
While there were plenty of worth contenders this season, Blake was simply phenomenal for the Union, which had a very youthful and inexperienced backline.
Although the Union fell in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs, the club has a very bright future, especially if they can hold onto Blake for many years to come. However, that might be a challenging task considering his continued rise both in MLS and with the Jamaican national team.Follow @MattReedFutbol