For the second time this year a Minnesota United player has been given an MLS Post-Season Award. Last week Ike Opara was named Defender of the Year, this week Loons GK Vito Mannone was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Italian keeper on loan from Sky Bet Championship side Reading in the UK set numerous club records this season. Playing every minute of every competitive match this season netted him 34 league starts, 5 Open Cup starts, and the lone start in the playoffs for a total of 3,600 minutes this year. Through all competitions he had 19 wins (15 in MLS) and 11 shutouts (all in MLS play) along with 129 saves, all club records.
The moment was not lost on the man himself Vito Mannone, stating,
“It’s a wonderful achievement, it was a dream when I came here. I still can’t believe it and [I’m] still trying to [let it] sink it in. I always try to work so hard to be the best out there, and it’s a great achievement in my career for myself, my family, and for the club.”
Adrian Heath was impressed with Mannone’s performance during 2019, stating.
“He’s made the saves I expected a keeper of his stature could save. But then he’s come up with big big moments that’s kept us in games or won us games. And that’s the sign of a really good goalkeeper.”
The 12 month loan Minnesota signed him to will expire this offseason, so if the team does want to keep him they will need to negotiate with Reading along with a new contract. Adrian Heath expressed his hope that a new deal can be reached.
“He’s been another one who’s been a great pickup for us. Hopefully we can turn this loan into a permanent deal and he’ll be here for a few years to come.”