Ricketts solely focused on winning his first MLS Cup
CARSON, Calif. – It’s all about winning
championships, according to LA Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. Personal
accolades can wait.
The 33-year-old Jamaican
international earned his 11th shutout of the year in last Thursday’s 1-0
victory over the Philadelphia Union, and Ricketts tied Kevin Hartman’s
franchise record for most clean sheets in one season.
Ricketts, however, could
have cared less. In fact, he didn’t even know about the accomplishment until a
reporter asked him about it Tuesday.
Asked if he took any pride
in the mark now that he did know, Ricketts shook his head and smiled.
“It would feel special if I
had a record and we win a championship,” he said. “You play to win
championships. If we don’t win a championship, that record means nothing.
“At the end of the season,
you look back. You win a championship, then you say this was a special season.
It’s a team sport, and you play to win championships.”
Ricketts, who signed with
the club on Dec. 23, 2008, is 17-6-4 with a 0.81 goals against average this
season. He already has two more shutouts than he did in 2009, when he was
10-5-10 with a goals against average of 1.03.
Ricketts made three saves in
Thursday night’s win over the Union, including
two in a three minute span late in the second half to keep LA in front. The
first of those two came in the 73rd minute when Philadelphia’s Sebastien Le Toux tried to
back heel the ball into the net off a pass from Andrew Jacobson, only for
Ricketts to quickly dive to his right and deflect the ball just wide of the
Ricketts, asked about that
save, said he’d rather talk about a recent goal he’d like to have back.
“Let me talk about the
Chivas game first,” he laughed, referring to Alan
Gordon’s 63rd-minute header that went through Ricketts’ hands
and into the net in the Galaxy’s 2-1 victory on Oct. 3. “I made a silly mistake
and I let the team down. To take a clean sheet away from the guys after they
worked so hard. In Philly, I just did what I had to do to keep us in the game.
That’s just the job.”
It’s a job he has performed
exceedingly well, according to Galaxy goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer.
“From day one, his attitude
is what makes Ricketts Ricketts,” Feuer said. “To get a senior goalkeeper that
still wants to learn, it’s awesome. It’s the little details we’re trying to
find, and he thrives on it.
“His biggest attribute is
he’s still so humble. He blames himself pretty much for every goal. He doesn’t
always say it or show it, but inside he knows he can save almost everything.
That’s a good trait to have.
Right back Sean Franklin
admitted he didn’t know a thing about Ricketts when he first joined the club –
“I just saw that we signed a goalie, a big Jamaican guy,” Franklin joked – but
he has seen enough of him to know Ricketts provides the Galaxy a definite sense
of security in the net.
“It’s special having a
player like that,” Franklin
said. “He’s just intimidating. He has a real presence in goal.”
Central defender Omar Gonzalez said he was impressed with Ricketts
when he first saw him.
“Just walking in the first
day and seeing how big he was, it was pretty incredible,” Gonzalez said of the
Gonzalez isn’t exactly small
at 6-5 and 210. “I didn’t think he was going to be able to move well, but he’s
very agile and he has great hands. He’s just really calm and collected.
“Whenever the games are
tough, I think that’s when he shines the most.”