The wait is finally over! The Major League Soccer is set to kick off at the end of February, bringing excitement and drama to soccer fans across the world. With new additions to the teams and returning players eager to prove their worth, the upcoming season promises to be one of the most thrilling yet. When it comes to building a Sorare team, having a solid goalkeeper is essential, and choosing the right player for the job is crucial. And the time to build your MLS squad is right now.
In this blog post, we'll take a look at the various tiers of goalkeepers in the MLS and what each goalkeeper brings to the table. From established stars to up-and-coming prospects, this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the goalkeeper landscape in the MLS.
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Nailed On Starter
Andre Blake (Philadelphia) 0.103/0.9
Blake is the premier keeper in the MLS playing for a Philadelphia Union team that basically returns its whole starting lineup. He had 16 60+ showings (out of 40 starts) and was great to have in a Philadelphia stack toward the 2nd half of the season. He’s expensive, but it’s warranted if you’re looking for the keeper on one of the best teams in the MLS. You also love to see a 10.2 AA average from Blake to help bolster his scores. Philadelphia allowed the least goals last season in the MLS by 11!
Djordje Petrovic (New England) No Cards Minted Yet
Petrovic is going to be expensive when he has cards minted for the 2023 season. With limited U23 options in the MLS, he is going to be the go-to option this season. New England is a really solid team with some top-tier talent (Gil & Co.) and Petrovic put up a tremendous 57 L15 average to end last season. He’s going to be at the top of my shortlist.
Maarten Paes (FC Dallas) 0.0478/0.65
Paes started 34 of 36 games last season and is in line to be the starter once again. At only 24 years old and contracted through 2025, Paes should have the reins on the FC Dallas net for the foreseeable future. FC Dallas allowed the 2nd fewest goals this season, but we’ll see if there’s any regression without CB Matt Hedges.
Carlos Miguel Coronel (NYRB) 0.0425/0.481
Coronel started 34 of 35 for the youthful New York Red Bulls last season. He is again the sole goalkeeper and has an L15 of 43 which makes him attractive for Capped competitions. He averaged 45.3 last season and could improve this season. I’m very intrigued by this NYRB team that has made some moves this off-season.
Roman Burki (St. Louis City) 0.0414/0.646
Expansion club St. Louis City SC has made a lot of Bundesliga signings to form the club in its first season in the MLS. Burki comes over from Dortmund and should be locked into the starting role. I’m very low on this team and I do think they will concede a lot, so I’m not very high on Burki unless he can make a ton of saves to offset the goals he will most likely allow.
Sean Johnson (Toronto FC) 0.0405/0.477
Johnson was the free agent domino to watch during the offseason and ultimately left NYCFC for Toronto FC. Toronto should be improved and they have one of the best goalkeepers in the league. His L40 of 48 is more telling than his L15 of 39 and L5 of 22. Being on the bench of the USA in the World Cup will be great for capped mode as it brings down his L15. I think this Toronto FC team has an upward trajectory and will definitely improve from last season’s 13th-place Eastern Conference finish.
Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United) 0.0397/0.475
St. Clair is the clear starter in net for MUFC after Tyler Miller moved on to DC. St. Clair is a solid home goalkeeper posting a 49.3 average while having a 24 & 5 in that average.
Brad Stuver (Austin) 0.0377/0.549
Stuver is as safe of a starter as there is in the MLS. Austin FC should be one of the best teams in the Western Conference and Stuver should continue to put up great scores (11 60+ scores last season).
Pedro Gallese (Orlando City) 0.037/0.48
Gallese started off the season on a tear before cooling down to close the 2022 campaign. He had 6 60+ showings in his first 9 starts last season. Orlando City is another interesting team who could improve on last year’s 7th-place Eastern Conference finish and Gallese could put up some nice scores in the right matchups.
Eloy Room (Columbus) 0.0332/0.45
Room was really consistent over the second half of the season with 45+ in 9 of the last 10 matches for the Crew. He’s 33 and his contract runs out at the end of the season, but this season he’ll be the locked-in starter for Columbus.
Joe Willis (Nashville) 0.0314/0.309
Nashville should be one of the most defensively sound teams in the MLS this season. Willis is a dependable keeper who has some pretty nice matchups to kick off the season (NYCFC, at NYRB, Montreal). I think he can have a hot start and is priced pretty well for a keeper with a 50.4 average at home.
Jonathan Bond (LA Galaxy) 0.03/0.413
Bond started all 35 games last season and is set to be the guy again this season. His inconsistency in Sorare scoring is something to watch even though he’s a definite starter. Bond had 10 games of less than 30 points last season, so he might be limited to using at-home matches with good matchups (47.4 Home Avg, 40.5 Away Avg).
James Pantemis (Montreal) 0.0275/0.379
Montreal was a feel-good story last season finishing 2nd in the Eastern Conference in the Regular Season. Pantemis had a ton of upside in net posting some awesome scores over the 2nd half of the season after taking over the starting job from Sebastian Breza. Breza was a loanee from Bologna and has since been loaned out to Carrarese (Serie C) so this will be Pantemis’ job to lose. I do worry about the roster turnover and although the role will be much better for Pantemis, the scores may see a pretty substantial drop.
Stefan Frei (Seattle) 0.0266/0.301
Frei will turn 37 this season, so he is definitely reaching the twilight of his career. I do believe he will continue to be the starter in Seattle for this upcoming season. Backup Stefan Cleveland doesn’t scare me to overtake Frei this year unless Frei runs into some really bad form. Frei has a nice L40 of 48 playing 83% of matches. Seattle should be improved if they can avoid the injury bug from last season (11th place in the West).
Aljaz Ivacic (Portland) 0.026/0.413
Ivacic is a dependable starter with some added upside. In 32 starts he averaged 45.6 points and 9.5 AA. He posted 7 60+ starts as well including a huge 3-game stretch of 72, 77 & 74. I owned a rare of his before transitioning my gallery to U23 only and I won a lot of thresholds and a few card rewards with him.
Drake Callender (Inter Miami) 0.0249/0.413
Callender took over the Inter Miami starting job early in the season and started 24 of 26 to end the season. He had a rough end to the season conceding 3 goals in both of the last two matches with one being an error on his part leading to a goal. Marsman is the backup so I really don’t see a major threat to the starting job unless Callender falters early.
Zac MacMath (Real Salt Lake) 0.0245/0.35
RSL snuck into the playoffs last season in the final playoff spot (7th in the West). They only conceded 45 goals which was 4th best in the Western Conference. Only Gavin Beavers is behind MacMath on the depth chart, so there’s no real worry about losing the starting gig.
Steve Clark (Houston) 0.0199/0.257
Clark had his highs and lows in net last year for a Houston squad that was one of the worst teams in the league. I think Houston will be better this season and concede less making Clark a cheap option for a 36-year-old starter in the final year of his contract.
Should Be the Starter
Chris Brady (Chicago) 0.0616/0.663
The 18-year-old Slonina replacement seems to be the starter this upcoming season for the Fire. They will definitely concede goals, but the long-term utility is there if Brady can hold onto the job. He’s expensive but could shape up to be the top MLS U23 keeper until Djordje Petrovic cards are minted for New England.
Tyler Miller (DC United) 0.0165/0.331
Miller came over from Minnesota United and looks to be the starter in DC. He’s still battling Alex Bono for the starting gig, but unless something changes it should be Miller’s job to lose. Miller only started 2 games last season behind St. Clair but was Minnesota’s starting keeper the year prior.
Daniel (San Jose) No Cards Minted Yet
Daniel was acquired from Internacional in Brazil. General Manager Chris Leitch said, “We believe his quality will add a different level of competition to the goalkeeper position.” I take this as he was brought in to push Marcinkowski and be the starter. Marcinkowski and the Earthquakes conceded the most goals in the Western Conference last season and the second most in the MLS. Daniel wasn’t the starter at the end of his time with Internacional, but he was a stud for SO5 when he was the starter. In 23 starts over the last year, he put up 10 starts of 60+ although he won’t have the same upside for San Jose in the MLS. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Daniel beats out Marcinkowski for the starting job on opening day.
John McCarthy (LAFC) 0.0132/0.13
Crepeau will be the starter when he returns from the tibia fracture he sustained in the MLS Cup Final against Philadelphia. Crepeau had surgery in early November and there isn’t a timetable for him to be back. McCarthy will most likely fill in for the time being on one of the best clubs in the league. LAFC concede a decent amount (10 clean sheets last season) so McCarthy is mainly just a band-aid for the short term in your gallery.
Pablo Sisniega (Charlotte) 0.013/0.17
Starter Kristijan Kahlina had back surgery to clean up a disc in his back that will keep him out of the squad “for a while.” Sisniega is battling George Marks for the starting position so it’s important to keep track of how the friendlies go.
Starting to Get Worried
Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati) 0.0727/0.626
I really thought Celentano would be the nailed-on starter for the upcoming season. He conceded in 6 straight games to end the season and there have been murmurs of the starting job being a true toss-up with Alec Kann. Kann was the starter before suffering an injury (might have been losing the job anyway due to poor form) and served as the backup last season. I still think Celentano will win the job, but there is room for concern.
John Pulskamp (Sporting KC) 0.0354/0.437
Club legend Tim Melia has been a fixture at Sporting KC since 2014. When he got injured last season, Pulskamp came in and took the starting position. Pulskamp started 11 games as Sporting KC was ravaged by injury. The question is will Sporting KC move on from Melia and go with the 21-year-old Pulskamp? My depth chart has Pulskamp on top but the final friendlies will still play a big role in who becomes the starter for the season.
Brad Guzan (Atlanta) 0.0184/0.25
Guzan is coming back from an Achilles tendon rupture at 38 years old. He surprised a lot of people by rehabbing the Achilles to make a comeback for what could be his final season. His debut in a friendly against Chattanooga FC got off to a really rough start with a bad mistake handling the ball. Guzan conceded 3 goals in 45 minutes of action as Atlanta United drew with the NISA (4th division) side. Quentin Westburg should be the backup (36 years old) and Clement Diop was brought in as well to provide cover if Guzan is to lose the starting gig.
Some Serious Doubt
Thomas Hasal (Vancouver) 0.0341/0.324
I genuinely feel bad for Hasal. He’s a talented goalkeeper who should have been the nailed-on starter for the Whitecaps this season. However, there has been transfer rumor after transfer rumor that Vancouver is in the market for a goalkeeper. As a Hasal owner, this has been painstakingly nervy and I’ve been counting the hours until the deadline. Enter the newest rumor in Yokohama F. Marinos’ Yohei Takaoka. A starter in the J1 League for the top team, Takaoka is a stud in SO5 and I really think if he’s signed he will be the number one. This risk has plummeted Hasal’s value (I bought for around 0.6 for my rare a month ago). I truly thought Hasal would be the #1 with mid-week fixtures playing in the CONCACAF Champions League, but here we are as Vancouver isn’t content with him as the starter.
William Yarbrough (Colorado) 0.0184/0.223
Yarbrough owners dodged the first bullet with Patrick Pentz picking Leverkusen over Colorado. But this is an indication that Colorado is looking to move on from the 33-year-old. Yarbrough’s contract is up at the end of this year, so even if they don’t bring someone new in this window, expect a new keeper to occupy the Rapids' goal sooner than later.
Luis Barraza (NYCFC) 0.0145/0.239
Matt Freese came over from Philadelphia, so it appears NYCFC wasn’t fully committed to Barraza after Sean Johnson left for Toronto FC. While neither has been named the starter, it looks like a 1a/1b rotational situation as we go through the friendlies. Either could win the job and Freese has U23 eligibility until June.
Top Home GKs (Min 5 MLS Starts)
1. Djordje Petrovic (New England) 61.7
2. James Pantemis (Montreal) 57.0
3. Thomas Hasal (Vancouver) 56.4
4. Andre Blake (Philadelphia) 55.5
5. Eloy Room (Columbus) 53.6
Top Away GKs (Min 5 MLS Starts)
1. Djordje Petrovic (New England) 53.1
2. Andre Blake (Philadelphia) 51.0
3. Drake Callender (Inter Miami) 48.4
4. Pedro Gallese (Orlando City) 48.3
5. Carlos Miguel Coronel (NYRB) 48.1