Projecting goalkeepers jumping from college into the next level is perhaps the hardest of all the positions.
Because most teams in MLS don’t look for immediate starters from the college ranks, it takes a few years at minimum for shot stoppers to bed in at the pro level. There are plenty of intangibles to consider as well -- there’s the obvious abilities, such as shot stopping, positioning, but goalkeepers must also organize, distribute and lead their team at the back.
This year’s crop of goalkeepers does feature one of the highest rated prospects on the draft boards. Here’s a look at some of the top pro candidates:
1. Andre Blake, Connecticut
Weight: 175 lbs
Career Stats: 68 games, 6,387 minutes, 181 saves, 37 shutouts
His Generation adidas status vaults him to the top of the list, but with or without that status, he would be up top. Blake, who turns 24 later this year, is capable of competing for a starting role later this season and is a freakishly good shot stopper. He's also the top overall prospect in this draft class.
2. Kees Heemskerk, College of Charleston
Weight: 170 lbs
Career Stats: 62 games, 5,744 minutes, 270 saves, 15 shutouts
Injuries sidelined Heemskerk this past season, but he’s a prospect with an interesting pedigree, having come to the College of Charleston after growing up playing for the Ajax Academy. His international status could end up sending him down the draft boards.