Goalkeepers and the Crew
Last night\’s Crew game was painful at times – especially the second goal, lofting in over a backpedaling Noah Palmer. To be honest, the Crew wasn\’t going to tie the game anyway – we\’d already subbed out the two most dangerous offensive weapons we had – but that goal was just heartwrenching to concede.
Which got me to thinking about where Palmer stands in terms of the Crew\’s goalkeepers all-time. For somebody who was signed on an emergency basis, he\’s played a decent amoutn of minutes already – enough time to get a decent picture of his abilities.
Here are some thoughts as I look over these numbers:
- Not surprisingly, the goalkeeper with the best GAA all-time is Brad Friedel. Somewhat surprisingly, Johnny Walker is next – and Palmer is 5th on that list, ahead of guys like Presthus, Dougherty, and Sommer. Shockingly, if you take the last two games out of the mix, he actually had the best GAA in Crew history (1.00).
- If you calculate each \’keeper\’s save percentage (saves divided by shots faced), Palmer ranks 3rd all-time with 74.5%. Which means that he saves just under 3 of every 4 shots he faces. Matt Jordan posted the best percentage, 78.25%, but he only played 3 games. Johnny Walker managed 75.9% in 16 games. Busch\’s average is 73.75% over his mammoth career (easily the longest in Crew history).
- If you look around the league, Palmer\’s save percentage is in the middle of the pack; the best goalkeeper in the league is DC\’s Troy Perkins, at better than 80 percent (80.25); bringing up the rear is Bo Oshoniyi at 63.33%. Ahead of Palmer are Perkins, Burpo (79.17%), Busch (79.07%), Meola (78.95%), and Reis (75.76%).
- In terms of GAA, Palmer is 6th in the league, behind Burpo (0.83), Perkins (0.84), Busch (1.13), Hartman (1.20) and Onstad (1.24).
Yeah, these are a lot of numbers – and I don\’t see a way to post a table here so I can\’t give you the originals (check out MLSNet\’s stats or the stats on SoccerCapitalNews for more info). And yes, soccer is more than stats, and \”figures don\’t lie, but liars can figure\”. I do think, though, that Palmer is a better goalkeeper than he\’s being given credit for in some quarters – these last two games notwithstanding. If he can get back to the form he showed over his first 7 games, I think we\’ll be okay defensively.
Of course, I could be completely wrong – what do you think?