It's no secret that this debate has raged on here at Stumptown Footy for the past few years--even before I posted here. There's a good reason behind this: in the public visage, the goalkeeper is directly responsible for the games he starts. Whether or not there was bad defending or good attacking going against him, our minds always drift towards "He should have saved that!"
Regardless, right now we have a bit of a problem here at PTFC. We have 3-and-a-half keepers who all have their foot in the door, and as such everyone seems to have their own opinion on who we should use, who we shouldn't and who shouldn't even be on the roster. So to summarize, here's who we have:
After coming over from Montreal in the most highly-controversial trade the Timbers have pulled so far in MLS, Ricketts' performance was shadowed by a very unstable Portland defense in 2012. At Montreal, he kept the Impact within the playoff hunt. However, this was through some very high-scoring games, which is not what you want out of a goalkeeper. While in the past he was a rock-solid member of the LA Galaxy, he's slipping into his twilight years at a rather-ungraceful rate. And at the same time, he can still post a shutout against Mexico.
He's big, he's Jamaican, he's old, and he's fairly reliable. Reaction saves are his key, but anything outside of his reach is questionable. That includes things that he has to run to.
He came over through a trade with Toronto with questionable values for both sides. In the equation of "Bendik + $ = R Johnson + Kocic," I'd assume Kocic = "get-him-the-hell-off-our-team." He doesn't really let in too many goals, though. A lot of his games ended with Toronto giving up 'only' one goal, but at the same time he rarely posted shutouts. He looks good on paper, but at the same time there are few Toronto fans who were sad to watch him go. But compared to Ricketts, Kocic is a ripe, young... 27.
His key is that he's loud and aggressive, which would be great with a young backline. You have to wonder, though, if this would conflict with the likes of Mikael Silvestre's experience.
Gavin Wilkinson's personal protege, Gleeson's often been questioned as to whether or not he's capable of a starting role. He had his chance in 2011, and did decent, but we don't want decent. We want good. However, Jake went on to play for the New Zealand national team and actually won over the hearts of a few Kiwis. I don't have much on record to say about him, but I do think that he COULD be the real deal if he were thrown into a baptism-by-fire. Something we should have done at the trailing-end of a terrible season (cough2012cough).
Young, promising, and fragile. Very fragile. VERY fragile. But he does play a mean Bigfoot (see: preseason 2013).
Well, I'm lost. I've heard he's awesome, I've heard he's no Gleeson. MLS scouts say he has good numbers, which is good. I've heard people who watch him play say that he's only got good numbers because of his defenders, which is bad. Regardless of that, you have to wonder why he's not actually on the Timbers active-duty squad, but the practice team instead. To quote the MLS scouts:
He hasn't had to face many shots and sometimes he's not involved in a game, but he has the ability to stay focused and make the big save ...
But he's a rookie, and I don't think we project him to start anytime soon. Then again, we said the same of Tucker-Gangnes.
So, there you have it. Who do we actually want to be our starter? We're at the point where we need to pick ONE and stay with him. A rotating cast of keepers is not conductive to a good team.
Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.