Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, seen at right getting a season-high eight saves in the playoff shutout of the Seattle Sounders Sunday in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinal, won the award in his second year in the league (AP Photo).
Donovan Ricketts beat out former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman – Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999 – and Nick Rimando for the honor announced today.
Hartman led the league in goals against average 0.62, while Ricketts was third at 0.90 (a club record) behind Rimando, but the Jamaican led MLS in wins with 18 in 29 games. His 11 shutouts tied Hartman’s 1999 club record.
The 26 goals allowed by the club this season were the second fewest in MLS and the fewest in club history.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Donovan and I could not be happier that he was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who signed Ricketts from Village United in his native Jamaica in December 2008. “He has been an important part of our club’s defensive improvements over the past two seasons and he is fully deserving of this honor.”
Ricketts, 33, is the second foreigner to win the award that’s voted on by players, general managers, coaches and members of the media.
(Incidentally, who was the first? Hint, it’s a player not always thought of as a foreigner).
Also: Andy Najar of D.C. United was selected Rookie of the Year; the 17-year-old is the youngest to win the award after scoring five goals this season.