FanPost

MLS Goalkeeper Value



As an advocate of an off-season overhaul of TFC's roster, I'm interested to look at a few statistics related to MLS goalkeepers. I'm always intrigued to see keepers' salaries from around the league.

So, I'll preface this post with the salaries of TFC's two keepers, Bono and Westberg. I'm not going to get into the debate about who should be the no. 1 keeper, as I think that argument has been decided for us, based on the number of games Bono has started.

Alex Bono: $482,000

Quentin Westberg: $288,583

Using the information taken from the MLSPA's salary guide published on 30 September, and goalkeeper statistics available on MLSsoccer.com, I've narrowed in on a few key statistics (that I've chosen according to my own criteria - value for money). The keepers had to have played at least 10 games in MLS to provide a large enough sample size, except Westberg, who has played only 6 games this year. Also, I've used statistics based on playing in 30 games, as the majority of teams in MLS have played 30 games so far.

  • Salary,
  • Cost per win,
  • Pro-rated Cost per point (based on playing 30 games),
  • Cost per save per 90 minutes.

I'll show the top 10 players based on value in the league compared to TFC's keepers (SPOILER: - TFC did not get a lot of value from their keepers). Also, I'm certainly aware this is a team sport, and you can't blame the keeper for every goal. However, judging by the goalkeeping exhibited by Toronto FC's keepers this season, they can certainly shoulder some of the blame.

Cost Per Win

Player Team Salary Cost per Win
Ochoa, David Real Salt Lake $ 90,000.00 $ 10,000.00
Romero, Tomas LAFC $ 86,375.00 $ 12,339.29
Cleveland, Stefan Seattle Sounders $ 96,375.00 $ 16,062.50
Marcinkowski, James San Jose Earthquakes $ 177,000.00 $ 19,666.67
Pantemis, James Club de Foot Montreal $ 145,833.00 $ 20,833.29
Shuttleworth, Bobby Chicago Fire $ 125,750.00 $ 20,958.33
Kempin, Jon DC United $ 85,444.00 $ 21,361.00
Stuver, Brad Austin FC $ 160,000.00 $ 22,857.14
Turner, Matt New England Revs $ 375,000.00 $ 23,437.50
Clark, Steve Portland Timbers $ 250,000.00 $ 25,000.00
Bono, Alex Toronto FC $ 482,000.00 $ 80,333.33
Westberg, Quentin Toronto FC $ 288,583.00 $ 0




Pro-Rated Cost Per Point (based on 30 games)

Player Team Salary Cost Per Point
Ochoa, David Real Salt Lake $ 90,000.00 $ 1,935.48
Cleveland, Stefan Seattle Sounders $ 96,375.00 $ 2,095.11
Romero, Tomas LAFC $ 86,375.00 $ 2,159.38
Kempin, Jon DC United $ 85,444.00 $ 2,190.87
Nelson, Michael Houston Dynamo $ 85,444.00 $ 2,589.21
Pantemis, James Club de Foot Montreal $ 145,833.00 $ 3,305.55
Vermeer, Kenneth Cincinatti FC $ 104,375.00 $ 3,711.11
Shuttleworth, Bobby Chicago Fire $ 125,750.00 $ 4,382.20
Marcinkowski, James San Jose Earthquakes $ 177,000.00 $ 4,916.67
Clark, Steve Portland Timbers $ 250,000.00 $ 5,050.51

Bono, Alex Toronto FC $ 482,000.00 $ 15,424.00
Westberg, Quentin Toronto FC $ 288,583.00 $ 0




Cost Per Save/90 Minutes

Cost Per Save
Player Team Salary /90
Ochoa, David Real Salt Lake $ 90,000.00 $ 952.38
Nelson, Michael Houston Dynamo $ 85,444.00 $ 1,095.44
Vermeer, Kenneth Cincinatti FC $ 104,375.00 $ 1,139.59
Stuver, Brad Austin FC $ 160,000.00 $ 1,278.24
Shuttleworth, Bobby Chicago Fire $ 125,750.00 $ 1,320.66
Romero, Tomas LAFC $ 86,375.00 $ 1,524.26
Kempin, Jon DC United $ 85,444.00 $ 1,552.41
Marcinkowski, James San Jose Earthquakes $ 177,000.00 $ 1,594.59
Phelipe FC Dallas $ 176,250.00 $ 1,595.87
McCarthy, John Inter Miami FC $ 136,583.00 $ 1,615.50


Westberg, Quentin Toronto FC $ 288,583.00 $ 2,404.86
Bono, Alex Toronto FC $ 482,000.00 $ 4,702.44




As a result, our goalkeeping has been sub-standard. The criteria I use is Save Percentage.

Westberg had a dismal 61.5 SV %, which is 4th worst amongst keepers, while Bono's save percentage is 65.1%. The average amongst keepers is 68.4%. Funny enough, Stefan Frei has the highest save percentage in the league with 80.4%.

Some other random stats I found interesting:

  • Brad Guzan is the highest-paid keeper, making $805,000. His cost per with is $73,000 - still lower than Alex Bono.
  • Seattle's keepers are both named Stefan.
  • Canadian keeper Maxime Crepeau is making $277,000 - a bargain in my opinion. His value is in the top 15 in most categories (#14 in cost per win, #14 in cost per point, and #16 in Cost per save/90).
  • The lowest-paid keepers on this list are Michael Nelson of Houston and Jon Kempin of DC United at $85,444. They've played in 10 matches each this season. However, they own some of the worst save percentages on this list.
  • Two keepers, Joe Willis of Nashville SC and James Marcinkowski have started all 30 games and have played all 2700 minutes for their club so far this year.
  • the Goals Against Average (GAA) is definitely a hockey stat, but here's the top 10 in the league. Looking at this list would show many recognizable names as some of the best keepers in the league. (I've added TFC's keepers for reference - Bono is 4th worst in the league, while Westberg is dead last.)

Player Team GAA
Frei, Stefan Seattle Sounders 0.69
Willis, Joe Nashville SC 0.90
Yarbrough, William Colorado Rapids 1.00
Blake, Andre Philadelphia Union 1.00
Coronel, Carlos New York Red Bulls 1.03
Miller, Tyler Minnesota United 1.04
Guzan, Brad Atlanta United 1.04
Melia, Tim Sporting KC 1.08
Hamid, Bill DC United 1.11
Cleveland, Stefan Seattle Sounders 1.13


Bono, Alex Toronto FC 1.83
Westberg, Quentin Toronto FC 2.50

So - Now What?


Based on this information, Toronto FC should be looking at some keepers to bring in the offseason, if they're available. Here are my recommendations:

  • David Ochoa, Real Salt Lake
  • Stefan Cleveland, Seattle Sounders
  • James Pantemis, Club de Foot Montreal
  • Thomas Romero, LAFC
  • Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps (Yes - I'm biased on this one - I'd love to see Crepeau in a TFC kit!)