SEATTLE, WASH. – Major League Soccer announced today that Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei has won 2018 MLS Save of the Year for his quick-reflex stop against the Colorado Rapids on July 4. 2018 MLS Save of the Year was unveiled on a special MLS ExtraTime Live awards show on MLSsoccer.com. Fans selected from 16 Save of the Year nominees via online voting.
The top-voted save from 2018 was Frei’s full-stretch, left-glove stop against the Colorado Rapids on July 4 that ultimately served as major turning point for Seattle’s season. An unmarked Shkëlzen Gashi had a clear view of the frame from the right side of the box and shot toward the near right post in the 82nd minute. Frei reacted quickly, diving to his left and parrying the ball out for a corner kick to maintain a 2-1 advantage, and Sounders FC ended up winning by that scoreline. The match started an impressive 12-game unbeaten streak that carried Sounders FC into the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs for a 10th consecutive season.
Frei enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2018, finishing second to Zack Steffen in Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year voting and posting career highs in goals against average (1.03) and saves (114). He set a new franchise record with his 114 saves, which ranked tied for fifth in MLS. Frei's 1.03 goals against average was second in the league among goalkeepers with at least 15 games played. The veteran was tied for third in MLS in goalkeeper wins with 18, and he recorded a 290-minute shutout streak from July 15-July 29. Frei posted nine consecutive wins from July 21-September 15, the longest stretch in league history in the post-shootout era (since 2000). On June 13 at the Supporters' Shield-winning New York Red Bulls, Frei established a single-match club record with 11 saves.
The MLS Save of the Year was determined by fan votes on MLSsoccer.com. The Save of the Year was established starting in 2009, with this season being the third time a Sounders FC player has earned the honor. Kasey Keller previously won MLS Save of the Year in both 2010 and 2011.
ALL-TIME MLS SAVE OF THE YEAR WINNERS:
2018: Stefan Frei – Seattle Sounders FC | 7/4/18 vs. Colorado Rapids, 82nd minute
2017: Brad Guzan – Atlanta United | 10/15/17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 65th minute
2016: Joe Bendik – Orlando City SC | 5/15/16 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 45th minute
2015: Adam Kwarasey – Portland Timbers | 8/15/15 vs. Real Salt Lake, 31st minute
2014: Luis Robles – New York Red Bulls | 9/20/14 vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 69th minute
2013: Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake | 8/3/13 vs. Colorado Rapids, 53rd minute
2012: Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake | 4/14/12 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 75th minute
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC | 10/15/11 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 64th minute
2010: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC | 4/17/10 vs. Kansas City Wizards, 90th+2 minute
2009: Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo | 4/19/09 vs. Colorado Rapids, 83rd minute