Los Angeles goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was part of the protected list for the MLS expansion draft. However, on Monday, Nov. 28th, the Montreal Impact snatched up Ricketts in exchange for allocation money.
In 2010, the Jamaican international was the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and had 0.90 goals against average. In that same year, Ricketts posted 11 shutouts and played in 29 games. In addition, he was an MLS All-Star in both 2009 and 2010.
However, 2011 was a different story. Ricketts started out as the starting keeper and helped the Galaxy become a threat in the league. However, after he fractured his left ulna in a game against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 25, Ricketts missed a good chunk of games. By the time he had recovered, Josh Saunders had established himself as the No. 1 keeper. In fact, Bruce Arena continued to list Saunders on the starting lineup in the postseason and all the way to the MLS Cup Championship. With the Galaxy taking the MLS Cup title, the decision was, obviously, a good one.
Ricketts will be missed. He has been with the Galaxy since December of 2008 and made his debut in April of 2009 against the Chivas USA. He was a big reason that the Galaxy went from giving up 62 goals in 2008 to only allowing 31 in 2009.
Despite Ricketts' impressive performance, Saunders was red hot in the latter half of the 2011 season. In 18 starts in the regular season, he had eight shutouts. Additionally, he was part of the starting XI that made the push for the Supporters' Shield and, eventually, the MLS Cup.
While I know Saunders is the best choice for the Galaxy in 2012, my only regret is the fact that I like having two strong keepers on our team. With Ricketts gone, Brian Perk is most likely the Galaxy's backup keeper. Although Perk kept a clean sheet against the Seattle Sounders, he has a lack of experience. Still, his two saves in his MLS debut were impressive.
Yet, although Saunders is the Galaxy's starting keeper, Ricketts is likely to be a strong force on the Impact. In 2011, he posted seven shutouts in 15 games. Montreal is lucky to have him.
Still, Ricketts' departure has me wondering, what other changes are in store for the Galaxy?
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.