FourFourTwo's midseason picks for MLS' major awards
Goalkeeper of the Year
2015 winner: Luis Robles, New York Red Bulls
The pick: Andre Blake, Philadelphia
Selected with the top overall pick in the 2014 draft, Blake waited for his chance with the Philadelphia Union. He finally got a shot at the full-time starting job this year, and he’s more than impressed.
The Jamaican international has allowed 26 goals in 19 games this season, a 1.37 goals against average, with four shutouts and 58 saves. More important than any stats, Blake’s play in net has steadied Philadelphia defensively and helped lead the Union to second place in the Eastern Conference. Outside of a string of nine goals in three games in June – an anomaly for what has been a fairly sound defensive season for Philadelphia – Blake has kept his team in games, allowing 17 goals allowed in the other 16 contests.
Blake’s athleticism, consistency and composure in net have been a big part of the Union’s turnaround, which gives him the nod over other players who might have more impressive stats.
-- Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio)
Don't forget: Zac MacMath, Colorado
Zac MacMath has the second-lowest goals against average in all of MLS (0.69) and the best among goalkeepers who have played more than 10 games. He has been in net for 16 of the Colorado Rapids’ 19 matches this season, and the Rapids, second in the West, have the most points per game in MLS despite being widely expected to be horrible once again. Colorado is arguably the story of this MLS season.
And MacMath now sits on the bench. Such is life when the Rapids splash a couple million per year on one the best American men to ever suit up.
So Tim Howard is in net for the Rapids now, and he’ll remain there for the foreseeable future, barring injury. MacMath won’t win this award at season’s end, and he may well look for a new home where he can once again start, but let’s give him his dues at the halfway point: He’s been mightily impressive.
-- Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf)