At the beginning of the 2011 season, both the first- and second-string keepers Troy Perkins and Adin Brown picked up injuries and Jake Gleeson, suddenly the team's only healthy keeper, was called on to start a few games early in the season, including the home opener. In that time, Gleeson endeared himself to the fans and made some thoroughly impressive saves. Even when Troy Perkins got healthy and took back the No. 1 spot, Gleeson was widely thought of as the Timbers' goalkeeper of the future.
We saw less of Gleeson in 2012, as he spent much of the summer with the New Zealand National Team. Unfortunately, an injury kept him from actually playing for them in the Olympics in London. He was often unable to play when he was in Portland as well, having struggled with a knee injury early in the season. Late in the season, after Joe Bendik, rather than Gleeson, had come in for Donovan Ricketts after his collision with Seattle's Eddie Johnson, goalkeeping coach Mike Toshack confirmed that the Timbers consider Bendik their No. 2 goalkeeper over Gleeson.
Should He Stay?
Yes. Although his stock seems to have dipped, I'm not ready to give up on Jake Gleeson. I always feel pretty comfortable with our goalkeeping situation knowing he is one of our backups and next year I'd like to see him and Bendik jockeying with Ricketts (provided they are all still around) for the No. 1 spot. All of the editors said we should keep him.