Sounders FC goalkeeper came into tonight’s game with the lowest goals-against average in Major League Soccer … and then recorded his third straight shutout.
Afterward, coach Sigi Schmid made the pitch for his keeper as MLS goalkeeper of the year.
“I think there’s a consensus in this league that somehow thinks that [Sporting Kansas City's Jimmy] Nielsen is the Goalkeeper of the Year,” Schmid said. “I think if you look around, Michael Gspurning’s goals against average is better than Nielsen’s. I don’t know where he is when you look at the amount of shutouts he has to games played, but he’s probably at a higher percentage. I don’t know where save percentage is, but for me, Michael’s been everything we’ve hoped for and everything we expected of him. For me right now, he’s the Goalkeeper of the Year in this league. I think he’s the goalkeeper that’s been the most consistent. We had one bad stretch, that was the stretch where he was injured. When you look at our record when he’s played, I don’t there’s a goalkeeper that can match that record. I think the fans out there and the media in other cities need to do a little bit of research and homework before they cast that vote when that vote comes up.”
On Gspurning’s lack of highlight-reel saves…) “He makes a couple of big saves, highlight-reel saves and so we think it’s his best game, but the reason he doesn’t have to make a lot of those saves is his positioning is good and is solid. As a result of that, he hasn’t been forced into a lot of those saves. You have to look at a lot of those games and say, ‘Hey, that was solid and that was good positioning,’ and today he had to make a couple of good reaction saves and was able to come up with them. The low shot that he sort of got his foot on, and the one late in the game that he deflected around the post, the one he tipped over the bar. Probably four big saves I can think of.”
Asked about Schmid’s comments, Gspurning complimented his defensive teammates and said his goals are team goals, not individual ones.