Donavan Ricketts has only been Portland's goalkeeper for fourteen MLS games, performed mostly non-decrepitly and has said nothing to alienate anyone at the club - yet the Perkins-for-Ricketts trade last August is considered by most Timbers fans to be the worst trade in the club's history. Why?
Ricketts, despite the grumbles, is nowhere near as bad as people think he is. A commanding and intimidating presence in goal, Ricketts is a superb shot-stopper, and even at 35, has his agility and ability to cover the goal fully intact. At 6'5", Ricketts is physically able to get to shots and crosses many goalkeepers, including the slim, 6'0" Perkins, can't reach. At his best, Ricketts represents an overpowering grizzly bear in net - one US Soccer writer told me that Ricketts is the most physically-dominant player, at any position, in CONCACAF history.
That's not to saw Ricketts doesn't have his flaws. Generally, Ricketts hasn't communicated well with his back-line, evidenced in the first-half defensive capitulation against New York, and a lurking factor Saturday against Montreal as well. In contrast with Perkins, Ricketts doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve - rather, the Timbers 'keeper is a quiet, religious, family man, regardless of what his overbearing frame might suggest. Click here to read the entire article