Jimmy Nielsen hops in front of Rimando in the August version of Tony Meola's goalkeeper power rankings.The Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year race is neck-and-neck with a handful of guys within reach of the honor. A lot has changed since last month, and I’ve got a new guy on top of my watch list. Let’s see if Nielsen can endure the dog days of August to remain best in show.
|1. Jimmy Nielsen, Sporting Kansas City (3)
Leading my watch list this month is none other than the MLS’ starting All-Star 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen, who heads into August with the lowest goals-allowed average (0.95) among players with at least 900 minutes. Nielsen also recorded three clean sheets during the month, including back-to-back appearances against Houston and Columbus. It’s been a great month for the Danish veteran.
|2. Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake (1)
Nick Rimando lost the top spot this month, but don't count him out of the race. RSL surged to a 3-1-1 record in July, despite a 5-0 road beating from league-leading San Jose. Rimando tops all goalkeepers in the W column (12) and has recorded an impressive eight shutouts this season. Vancouver is the only squad RSL will face in August that currently stands in the playoff picture, so expect Rimando to continue his winning ways.
|3. Jon Busch, San Jose Earthquakes (5)
Jon Busch has played a big part in keeping the Earthquakes atop the MLS tables. San Jose’s offense has provided a league-leading 45 goals of relief, but Busch has been extremely busy in the net, providing 15 saves in July, including four matches decided by one or fewer goals. Busch has proven to make the big save when his team needs him most.
|4. Dan Kennedy, Chivas USA (NR)
Dan Kennedy has rescued Chivas from the bottom of the tables with a big presence in goal this season. Rewarded with a 2012 All-Star appearance, Kennedy has only allowed 21 goals in 20 games played. In July, Chivas recorded only three goals in four games played, but Kennedy kept his opponents scoreless in three of them.
|T-5. Andy Gruenebaum, Columbus Crew (4)
Andy Gruenebaum is another 'keeper in need of some offensive relief. Columbus is somehow one spot away from a playoff berth despite only scoring 20 goals in 19 games. Luckily for the Crew, Gruenebaum has contributed seven clean sheets and a remarkable 1.05 goals allowed per game.
|T-5. Tally Hall, Houston Dynamo (NR)
Perhaps the hottest keeper of July, Tally Hall allowed just one goal in five matches, launching him among the league leaders in clean sheets (nine) and wins (10). August presents a pivotal situation for Hall’s Dynamo, as they have a home and an away match with conference-leading Red Bulls, which defeated Houston 1-0 back in early May.