Busy between the sticks!

Matt’s blog: Oct 24th

 

What a busy week it has been for goalkeepers! There have been so many strong performances from all around the world. Here are a few of my favorite saves from the past few days:

Marc-André ter Stegen vs Sevilla ( save at 0:36 and 1:10 in the video below )

Ter Stegen has been in tip top form for Barcelona this year and his two doubles last Saturday were special. His positioning is perfect and he is so quick to respond to both shots.

As a keeper, it is always your preference to hold the shot but in reality that is not always possible. For both of these saves Ter Stegen is able to parry the ball far enough out and away from goal to give himself (and his defenders) enough time to get up and make the return save. It’s still crazy to me that he was able to save both of these … in the same game! What a goalkeeper

Jan Oblak vs. Villarreal ( saves start at 0:40, 1:05 and 1:16 in the video below )

Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak went full beast mode vs Villarreal. How valuable has this guy been for Atlético since 2014!?!?

He has played 125 matches in La Liga, given up 72 goals, and kept 73 shutouts. Yes, 73 SHUTOUTS !!! How on earth is that possible.

On Saturday, he put his team on his back and won them a point in a game they really should have lost.

Three of the stops came in breakaway situations. Oblak is so good at reading the game in front of him, putting himself in the correct positions to impact the play, and very quick off his line. He is able to stay as big as he can for as long as possible making him incredibly hard to beat. For my money, he is the best in the world in 1-v-1 situations.

David de Gea vs Juventus

What more can you say about Spain’s No. 1? Along with Ter Stegen and Oblak, De Gea is among the best in the world. I do not often like ranking players because so much can change so quickly, but I think it’s safe to say that these three are on a different level right now compared to everyone else.

His save from last night against Ronaldo was just beautiful. There are few things I find more satisfying than seeing a perfectly executed top hand save like this one from De Gea. Bravo!

Steve Clark vs Real Salt Lake

Finally, how about this save from MLS by Steve Clark of the Portland Timbers!

He had no business making this save but through great patience and unbelievable reflexes he is able to get a full palm to the shot and push it over the bar. This type of save is underrated in my book and a lot of people don’t understand how difficult it is to pull off.

The shot is coming off of the strikers foot from inside Steve’s own six yard box and is hit perfectly on the laces. He has minimal time to react to the shot and still manages to parry the ball to safety. It takes great discipline and patience to wait and stand up as long as he did. A lot of keepers in this situation would gamble early (leaning to one side or the other) fearing that they wouldn’t make the save without doing so. But not Steve.

You can see by his reaction after the save just how pumped he was. And you know what, he should be. That was a world class stop

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Matt Pyzdrowski

 

 

 

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