Donovan Ricketts was another player during the 2013 season that had either a career year or a return to previous form. He was acquired in a trade with the Montreal Impact during the 2012 season which saw fan favorite Troy Perkins leave the Timbers.
2012 Rank: 18
A dominant goalkeeper can and does mask a lot of defensive issues and Donovan Ricketts was dominant in 2013. He had career highs in shutouts (14), saves (92) and minutes played (2,880). He was also among the league leaders in numerous goalkeeping categories which helped him earn the 2013 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. While the stats are a great turnaround his on the field relationship with his backline also improved dramatically in 2013. This relationship allowed the defense to play with confidence knowing they had a keeper behind them that will make the saves. Without Ricketts it is probably fair to say quite a number of wins would be ties and ties would be losses.
It is hard to bet against Donovan Ricketts after having a turnaround like he did but one thing all players cannot conquer is time. Father Time will always win. Next year Donovan Ricketts will be 37 and while keepers do have a longer shelf life than field players there is always the potential for drop off. However, if the defense improves to match the improvement of the offense the Timbers may not need him to be as dominant as he was in 2013. More than likely we will see the improvement of other players and thus this will bump Ricketts down the list come next year more than we will see a drop off from Ricketts.