MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award Finalists
MLS whittled down their large list to three final goalkeepers for the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Columbus' Eloy Room played in only 17 games this year and he is one of those finalists. The Philadelphia Union's wall in the back Andrew Blake is also one of those who survived the cut. The New England Revolution's savior in between the posts, Matt Turner, is the final of the three. They are all deserving of being the final three in the running. However, in my honest, unbiased opinion, I select Turner as the winner here.
Seven Reasons Turner Should Have Been Goalkeeper of the Year
- The New England Revolution would not have made the playoffs without Team MVP Matt Turner. His saves consistently provided the wins necessary to keep the Revolution in playoff contention. I know I might be in the minority, but on the whole, the Revolution's back-line and defensive midfielders have not done enough to keep Turner safe.
- Turner was forced to make saves on a lot more than the contenders. He made saves on 94 shots on target. Matt saved 73 of those shots, compared to Eloy Room's 41 on the season. Andre Blake only saved 64 himself.
- For me, Eloy Room shouldn't be in this conversation, he didn't play over 20 games this season, he wasn't the entire reason that Columbus was as dominating as they were. Andrew Tarbell helped secure their place in the standing as well. He won three of Columbus' 12 wins. His goals against are similar to Andre Blake's with four fewer games between the posts.
- Andre Blake's poor passing average shows he isn't as commanding a goalkeeper as he seems. He is less likely to connect a pass than Eloy Room's back-up goalkeeper Tarbell. Blake's passing percentage is so close to 50% that I would say flip a coin to see whether he actually connects a pass.
- During 2020, Matt Turner managed to make great saves without ever needing to commit a foul at all. This year Turner learned from his mistakes. He is deserving of everyone's praise after earning four yellows and one red last year. As fun as it was to see Matt Turner clobber Rooney, I'd rather a keeper who doesn't need to do that. Matt drew five fouls for the Revolution this year as well.
Statistics-Wise, He's A Far Better Shot Stopper
6. Matt Turner's post shot, expected goals is extremely high. He should've allowed in 30 goals on the season per analytics. Turner actually allowed 22 from shots involving opponents. The Revs goalkeeper did however allow two own goals, which were far beyond his help.
7. The above stat along with being divided by each shot on target leads to declaring that the shots on Turner were also far more difficult to save. His ending above 0.30 for the season. Remember, he faced 94 shots on target as well. There's a reason he's Team MVP
Bonus Eighth Reason (might be biased)
8. Matt Turner is the #1 goalkeeper for the US, as soon as he gets the time upon the US Men's National Team. Steffen doesn't come close to Matt Turner's standards with shot-stopping. With the great defense that exists with the USMNT, as it currently stands, the US would be greater for having him between the posts.