CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has been named the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Now in his second year with the Galaxy, Ricketts has been nominated for the award in each of his two seasons in MLS, but this is the first time that he has won the award, which is given annually to the top goalkeeper in Major League Soccer.
Ricketts claimed the award over fellow finalists, former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who now plays for FC Dallas and Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake, after garnering the most votes in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches and members of the media. The 33-year-old Jamaican international joins Hartman, who was named the Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999, as the only two players in club history to win the award. This was the sixth time in the 15-year history of MLS that a Galaxy goalkeeper has been nominated for the award, while Ricketts joins current Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad as just the second foreign goalkeeper to claim the award.
“This is a tremendous honor to be named the Goalkeeper of the Year in a league with so many outstanding goalkeepers. I am grateful to have won this award and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” Ricketts said. “I would also like to thank all of my coaches and teammates, specifically my goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer and my fellow goalkeeper Josh Saunders for pushing me as hard as they do in training everyday and helping me to become a better goalkeeper.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Donovan Ricketts' best saves
Ricketts set a club record with a 0.90 goals against average, allowing 26 goals in the 29 games that he played this season. He had a league-best record of 18-7-4 on the season and kept 11 clean sheets, tying a club record that was set by Hartman in 1999, while the 26 goals allowed by the club were the second fewest in MLS this season and the fewest in club history. A two-time MLS All-Star and the starting goalkeeper in this year’s All-Star Game against Manchester United, his 0.96 career goals against average is the lowest in MLS history amongst goalkeepers that have played 500 minutes or more. In the two seasons in which Ricketts has played for the Galaxy, the club has allowed 57 goals in 60 regular season games after surrendering 62 in 30 regular season games during the 2008 campaign.
On Sunday in the Galaxy’s postseason opener, Ricketts made a season-high eight saves, including seven in the first half, helping the Galaxy claim a 1-0 win in the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series against Seattle at Qwest Field. In five career postseason appearances, Ricketts now has a 3-0-1 record with three shutouts, 19 saves and a 0.59 goals against average. In the MLS Cup Playoffs, Ricketts has allowed just one goal in his last 406 minutes of action dating back to the first leg of the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series with Chivas USA last year.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Donovan and I could not be happier that he was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who signed Ricketts from Village United in his native Jamaica in December 2008. “He has been an important part of our club’s defensive improvements over the past two seasons and he is fully deserving of this honor.”
Ricketts and the rest of the Galaxy will be in action at home this Sunday, November 7 when they host the Seattle Sounders FC in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN. Fans can purchase tickets now for that game as well as a potential Western Conference Championship on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m., which LA would host if they advance past the Sounders. BUY TICKETS
WATCH: Ricketts' Best Moments from 2010
Goalkeeper of the Year Winners
2010: Donovan Ricketts – LA Galaxy
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Jon Busch – Chicago Fire
2007: Brad Guzan – Chivas USA
2006: Troy Perkins – D.C. United
2005: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Joe Cannon – Colorado Rapids
2003: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2002: Joe Cannon – San Jose Earthquakes
2001: Tim Howard – MetroStars
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Kevin Hartman – LA Galaxy
1998: Zach Thornton – Chicago Fire
1997: Brad Friedel – Columbus Crew
1996: Mark Dodd – Dallas Burn