The United States of America has produced plenty of world-class goalkeepers.
Be it English Premier League veterans Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller and Tim Howard or a player like Tony Meola, who was forced to stand on his head on many occasions during the 1994 World Cup.
Point being is that the U.S. churns out outstanding goalkeepers consistently.
Perhaps a reason there is so much talent at the position has to do with Major League Soccer and just how difficult it is to nab a starting goalkeeper job in America’s top professional league.
As such, here is a look at the top five goalkeepers in Major League Soccer right now.
Donovan Ricketts is a big reason why the Portland Timbers are right in the middle Western Conference playoff hunt.
The 6’4” Jamaican takes up a sizable portion of the goal with his massive wingspan and big, athletic frame. He is fearless in front of goal and can get to shots smaller goalkeepers are incapable of reaching.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter can feel confident knowing that Ricketts is his last line of defense.
It has been a rough season for DC United, no question about it. That does not mean that Bill Hamid is not one of the top goalkeepers in MLS, despite giving up more goals than he would prefer.
Hamid, like Ricketts, is another netminder with great size. This allows him to be strong on picking out crosses and corners. The young American is a vocal leader and plays with raw emotion.
When Hamid is hot, he can make the spectacular save look routine. It is clear why U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought Hamid into numerous camps.
The Chicago Fire are in good hands with the superbly athletic Sean Johnson as their goalkeeper.
Johnson stepped up big for the U.S. national team against Costa Rica in the quarterfinal of the 2013 Gold Cup, showing off his supreme leaping ability and quick distribution.
Additionally, Johnson can get to low shots thanks to explosive diving and fast reactions.
Dan Kennedy has been one of the only bright spots for Chivas USA over the past few seasons.
He relies on lightning-quick reflexives to cover the goal and can get to both upper 90s and the lower corners with ease.
Slightly undersized for the position, Kennedy makes up for strength with expert reactions and close-range saves that seem destined for goal.
Nick Rimando’s biggest attribute is what he brings to Real Salt Lake’s possession game. Simply stated, Rimando is the best in MLS at playing the ball with his feet.
It sets him apart, certainly, but Rimando is a standout shot-blocker as well. Despite a lack of height, his timing on jumps to pick out crosses affords him the room to be more than serviceable in dead-ball situations.
Rimando is certainly in the mix to get a Brazil 2014 roster spot for the USMNT.