Portland Timbers Player Rankings #18: Donovan Ricketts

This is generally not the position you want to see your keeper in. - Steve Dykes

Acquired in a surprise like-for-like trade with the Montreal Impact in exchange for fan favorite Troy Perkins, Donovan Ricketts has played well enough, but not exactly the upgrade over Troy Perkins that was advertised.

Donovan Ricketts started his MLS career with the LA Galaxy in 2009. Having spent five years with League 1 side Bradford City, the lanky Jamaican quickly established himself as one of the best keepers in the league, winning the league's Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2010.

But after spending much of 2011 injured and being spelled by the capable Josh Saunders, the LA Galaxy sent him to Montreal in exchange for allocation money. Later on in 2012, as mentioned above, he was sent to Portland. While the sudden decline in his teams' quality was largely to blame, the 1.61 goals allowed average he posted with Montreal and the Portland Timbers in 2012 was a far cry from the numbers he put up in LA.

Still, his distribution was a slight improvement over Troy Perkins', and his 6'4" frame allowed him to stretch for more than a couple of saves that might otherwise have been goals.

But his tendency to charge out of the goal area to try to prevent opportunities from developing often left him far out of position -- most notably when he left the penalty area against San Jose in the season finale, which allowed Steven Lenhart to get past him and draw a PK.

Should he stay in 2013?

I guess...? While we certainly don't love the deal that brought him here, it would seem an awful waste to let a veteran keeper like Ricketts go after just nine appearances. It would also seem unlikely that the Timbers would be able to get much in the transfer market for a 35-year-old, injury-prone goalkeeper. It's astonishing that Montreal was able to get Troy Perkins for him.

In short, he'll do.

Dissenting Opinion


I've been thoroughly unimpressed with Ricketts since he came to Portland. He is simply not the same keeper he was for the Galaxy in 2010. He's slow to react to shots at times, and he often looks shaky and uncomfortable in goal, not at all great qualities in a goalkeeper.

Ideally, I'd like to see the Timbers find a really good, experienced keeper to replace him, as I'm frequently jealous of teams with guys like Dan Kennedy and Nick Rimando between the posts. If that's not in the cards, I hope to see the Timbers get serious about giving Gleeson and/or Bendik some playing time to see what we've got in our backups.

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