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Will David Ousted be Named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2015?

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David Ousted has had a wonderful season for the Vancouver Whitecaps. However, is he the right choice for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year? If he does not win, will it be the result of a Canadian or West Coast bias or rather that there are other goalkeepers who have had a better season?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

David Ousted has had a wonderful season for the Vancouver Whitecaps. With the exception of the bad goal in San Jose, which sadly I saw live, there were very few instances where Ousted took a wrong step this season. In fact, it could easily be argued that Ousted was directly responsible for at least 9 points. While Ousted’s body of work this season, including playing every single minute, makes for a legitimate argument for being named Whitecaps Player of the Year, is his argument for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year as convincing?

Looking at his numbers from this year, compared to last year, there are not many differences. Both seasons he played all 3060 minutes, recorded 13 shutouts, had a similar number of shots (137 in 2015 to 140 in 2014), saves (99 to 96), and goals against average (1.06 to 1.18). Where the differences are, Ousted had a save percentage of 72.3% in 2015, compared to 68.6% in 2014. This year, Ousted won 47.1% of games while in 2014 only 35.3%. Finally, this year, he saved 4 (out of 6) penalty kicks where last year, he was 0 for 5. Statistically, David Ousted had, a better season than last year, but not by that much.

Year

Min.

Shots

Saves

Goals

GAA

PK

SV%

SO

Win %

2015

3060

137

99

36

1.06

2/6

72.3

13

47.1

2014

3060

140

96

40

1.18

5/5

68.6

13

35.3

While 2015 was a statistically better season for David Ousted, how did he match up to other keepers in MLS this season? Four keepers (Robles, Bingham, Clark, and Ousted) played all 3060 minutes for their team. Of the 18 keepers who played more than 1,500 minutes, only Rimando (1.00) and Frei (1.06) had a lower GAA, while only Melia, Hamid, and Frei had a better save percentage. Ousted was tied with Kwarasey in shutouts (13). If it matters, the pair were followed by Bingham (12) and Frei (10). Compared to the statistics of other keepers around MLS, Ousted certainly makes a strong case.

Statistics can be skewed by a strong or poor run though. They can also be impacted by the team in front of them. Hence why I did not discuss win percentage. But what about consistency, or recognition of strong play? Ousted is certainly in the mix with other keepers. First, he was the only goalkeeper to be named player of the month (June). Who were the other winners? Rivero, Feilhaber, Nemeth, Giovinco (twice), and Drogba. Not bad company. Second, Ousted won save of the week four times, but was nominated eight times. Tyler Deric was 4/14 (including 7 straight to start the season); Luis Robles 4/15; Stefan Frei 6/8; Adam Kwarasey 2/3; Jeff Attinella 3/4; Nick Rimando 4/11; David Bingham 0/5.

David Ousted has been outstanding this season, and Whitecaps fans should be proud of their keeper. Not only was his play outstanding, he served as the team’s captain for the second half of the season. Fans should be voicing their support for his bid at MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. An unbiased examination of the stats shows that, overall, there are other keepers who have had similarly strong (e.g. Stefan Frei), and potentially more consistent, season than the Dane. There is always the belief of a Canadian or West Coast bias. Whether Ousted wins or not is unclear, but outside of Robles, the strongest candidates to win the award are in the West. In my opinion, the top five, in no order, are Ousted, Robles, Kwarasey, Frei, and Bingham. Provided that Rimando nor Hamid are not even nominated, I believe that it will be a ‘fair’ voting. Regardless of what happens, thank you Ousted for a great season. I am not sure where the Caps would be without some of your timely saves AND leadership.

What are your thoughts? Should Ousted be named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year? Why?

Sources:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/videos/save-of-the-week

http://www.mlssoccer.com/stats/season?franchise=select&year=2015&season_type=REG&group=goalkeeping