The inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season has seen eight players signed to MLS contracts, moving from Next Pro to MLS. However, all eight of them have been field players. Here are five goalkeepers that MLS sides should have their eyes on after impressive starts to their MLS NEXT Pro careers.
Caique has been one of the top goalkeepers across MLS NEXT Pro this season. The only goalkeeper to play in all matches for his side, Caique has racked up 1,350 minutes of action where he has only conceded 15 goals. On average, Caique and RNY FC only concede one goal per game – the lowest across MLS NEXT Pro.
The 24-year-old Brazilian has made 47 saves across 15 matches, with a 75.8% save percentage. Boasting the most clean sheets across the league with 6, Caique has shown his worth as not only one of the top goalkeepers, but overall players in MLS NEXT Pro. Playing with the league’s only independent club means any move to the MLS level would likely require a transfer fee, but teams looking for goalkeepers can’t look past his production.
Revs II goalkeeper Jacob Jackson, the New England Revolution’s 2022 MLS SuperDraft first-round selection, has been a standout in net for them this season. Voted the MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month during May, Jackson has only conceded 18 goals across 14 appearances this season. A 76% save percentage, 57 total saves and five clean sheets across those 14 matches have all eyes on the 22-year-old.
Jackson has been immense in keeping the Revs II playoff hopes alive this campaign, as they currently occupy the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Already signed to a first-team contract with New England and playing on loan with Revs II, he could stand to climb the ranks with the departure of Matt Turner or could be a good bargaining chip for Bruce Arena, having established a good track record in his first professional season.
Otero, the MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month in April, has been one of the brightest stars on an OCB side that has struggled of late. Sitting seventh in the East and nine points out of a playoff spot, OCB have relied heavily on their 19-year-old goalkeeper. Standing 6’6” in net, Otero is one of the tallest players across MLS NEXT Pro, and has been immaculate in net. His performances even saw him earn a one-match-loan to the first-team on July 13.
Across 12 matches this season, Otero has conceded 24 goals but has made 70 saves in the process. Three clean sheets, a 74.5% save percentage and 16 clearances have Otero on the list.
Quakes II’s Ochoa has only played in 10 matches this MLS NEXT Pro season, but has been an absolute brick wall in net. Ochoa has only conceded 11 goals this campaign, making 27 saves in the process and racking up a 71% save percentage.
Ochoa has the highest passing percentage of any goalkeeper in NEXT Pro at 86.1% and is the youngest goalkeeper on this list at just 17 years old. Ochoa was also a nominee for MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month during May, for his standout performances.
The San Jose Earthquakes homegrown product was able to make his first-team debut on Wednesday in an international friendly against La Liga side Celta Vigo.
Rando has been an under-the-radar performer this MLS NEXT Pro campaign. A nominee for Goalkeeper of the Month during June, Rando has three clean sheets and a 62.2% save percentage in 12 appearances. With only 14 goals conceded, NYCFC II and Rando are averaging 1.17 goals per game allowed by their opposition.