LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Targets Within The League And North America

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TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: Clint Irwin (1) of Toronto FC kicks the ball during the first half of the MLS Soccer regular season game between Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City on March 31, 2017, at BMO Field in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Editorial (November 26, 2017) – The LA Galaxy are in full off-season mode. With a number of changes in the front office and back room, they’ll be looking to rebuild the roster and make the playoffs in 2018.

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Targets Within The League And North America

Goalkeeping was a major weakness for the Galaxy this past year. Fortunately for the club, they could have a number of domestic and inter-league options to choose from. A number of MLS playoff teams had some goalkeeper controversies down the stretch that could make some starting caliber players available.

The Galaxy will also have some significant roster turnover. Combined with TAM on the way in 2018, they club could look for some foreign talent as well. For the most up to date roster information, click here. For the full MLS off-season schedule, click here. We’ll have a lot better understanding of who will be on the market next week as teams start announcing their roster decisions. There will be a short transfer window on December 10th, when we could see the Galaxy make a move as well.

With that, let’s look at some potential options as the new LA Galaxy goalkeeper:

Clint Irwin:

Clint Irwin is an MLS pull yourself up by your bootstraps story if there ever was one. He was a pleasant surprise for the Colorado Rapids a few years ago before leaving for Toronto FC. The 28-year-old started for Toronto all the way up through MLS Cup 2016. He was unseeded earlier this year and has only two league starts since June. Toronto Head Coach Gregg Vanney clearly prefers Alex Bono.

He’s not perfect coming off his line, but he’d be an efficient upgrade. He won’t be eligible for free agency this year, so the Galaxy might have to make a trade for him or acquire him through on of the various off-season drafts.

Age: 28
Nationality: United States
Free Agency Status: Not Eligible
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $211,316.70
MLS Stats: 5 years, 112 starts, 36-44-32 record, 0.677 SV%, 33 clean sheets
Current Status: Under contract with Toronto for 2018.

David Bingham:

After being in the conversation for Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016, David Bingham had a very poor start to the 2017 campaign. Combined with the San Jose Earthquakes trying to find themselves late in the season to make the playoffs, Bingham was benched in August. San Jose just hired a new coach, so who knows where he stands with the organization. Andrew Tarbell still has his Generation Adidas status, and the higher ups in the organization clearly like him.

It’s unlikely the Quakes will make a trade to benefit their California Clasico rival. If the Galaxy are getting Bingham, they’ll have to hope he makes it to free agency or pay top dollar for him.

Age: 28
Nationality: United States
Free Agency Status: Eligible (should he not selected in Expansion Draft)
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $197,750.00
MLS Stats: 7 years, 95 starts, 35-34-27 record, 0.709 SV%, 27 clean sheets
Current Status: Out of contract with San Jose. The current rumor is that the Galaxy are trying to trade for him.

Jake Gleeson:

Like the previous two keepers discussed, Jake Gleeson fell out of favor as the Portland Timbers were making their run to the playoffs. He hasn’t played since the middle of August. The Timbers and Head Coach Caleb Porter parted ways earlier this month, so who knows where he stands with the organization or the new head coach once he’s appointed.

Gleeson anchored a patchwork back four in 2017. Compared to Bingham and Irwin, he was playing with less talent and more players playing in different roles. If anyone’s experienced with yelling at a backline with no chemistry and some question marks (like that of the LA Galaxy), it’s Jake Gleeson.

Age: 28
Nationality: New Zealand (will not take up an International Roster Spot)
Free Agency Status: Not Eligible
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $115,166.67
MLS Stats: 7 years, 51 starts, 21-17-13 record, 0.705 SV%, 9 clean sheets
Current Status: Under contract with Portland

David Ousted:

I’ll admit, a lot has to happen to make this one possible. David Ousted was the sixth highest paid goalkeeper in MLS this year. Unlike the others on this list, a lot has to happen and there could be interest from other clubs, domestically and internationally for him. Ousted already knows he won’t be coming back to Vancouver next year.

There could be a market for him in the half day trade window on December 10th. Assume he doesn’t get picked up then, he’s probably the first choice goalkeeper for Los Angeles FC in the Expansion Draft. If he’s still available after that, the Galaxy can select him as early as first overall in the Re-Entry Draft Stage 1 . Ousted is not eligible for free agency this year. He’ll also take up an International Roster Spot. In a vacuum, he’ll be the most talented keeper on the market in MLS. He’ll also be the hardest to get and the most expensive to get.

Age: 32
Nationality: Denmark (will take up an International Roster Spot)
Free Agency Status: Not Eligible
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $378,933.33
MLS Stats: 5 years, 142 starts, 55-49-37 record, 0.702 SV%, 42 clean sheets
Current Status: Option not exercised by Vancouver. He is not eligible for a TAM contract.

The International Market:

Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmidt is starting to set up his staff and roster for next season. There’s a very real possibility they’re looking outside MLS for a goalkeeper. Depending on where their salary budget and international roster spots are, they could bring in someone we’ve barely heard of. If they do go this route, I see them retaining at most one of their three keepers from 2017.

Honorable Mentions:

Nick Rimando: The only reason I bring Nick Rimando up is because he’s from Los Angeles originally. Real Salt Lake are embracing the kids on many levels. Head Coach Mike Petke could be looking to do that at the keeper position soon. Rimando is 38-years-old. Say RSL part ways with him. Maybe he takes a pay cut to move back to where he grew up. He’d be a “let’s sign him to fill a gap so we can delay the long term solution for a year or two” signing.
Current Status: Out of contract with RSL. Early signs are they will try and bring him back.

Zac MacMath: Another unlikely but not improbable option. The Colorado Rapids love having MacMath as a backup with how busy Tim Howard has been with international duty since coming to the club. Howard’s time with the national team could be coming to an end, making it less beneficial to have a backup who can start elsewhere on the roster. For the right offer, this trade could happen. MacMath would be a significant upgrade over the current in-house options, but he’s not elite compared to the rest of MLS keepers.
Current Status: Under contract with Colorado for 2018.

Alec Kann and Chris Seitz: Alec Kann and Chris Seitz have very similar situations. They’re both cheap. They’re both backups on teams where they aren’t the long term starting plan. They’re both meant to fill in when the starter is out (Brad Guzan on national team duty in Atlanta, Jesse Gonzalez hits a rut in Dallas). It wouldn’t take much to get them. They’d be a last ditch option if Plans A through T fail.
Current Status: Kann had his option picked up by Atlanta. Seitz signed with Houston Dynamo as a free agent.

Mitch Hildebrandt: I’m a huge Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fan, so take this one with a grain of salt. Mitch Hildebrandt was clutch against MLS competition in the USOC this year, in the run of play and in PK shootouts. He was the starting keeper on a USL playoff caliber team. He should be cheaper than the names above. He’s earned at least some interest from an MLS team, but probably not one with the expectations of the Galaxy.
Current Status: He was signed by Atlanta United.

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