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Dec, 2016

Who to Watch in January: A Guide to the Top GKs

I hope you and yours had a fantastic Holiday and are enjoying the start of 2017!  If your holiday down-time has been spent anything like mine, there has been a healthy dose of family, friends, food, and of course futbol.  

While this break is important to recharge the batteries, recover from injury, and re-enter the coming season with energy and excitement - it is also important to stay on top of your growth and continue learning as a player.  And, over the holidays, what better way to do that than to watch the best goalkeepers in the world do their thing?!

This article will guide you through the month of January and highlight the games in which the best goalkeepers in the world will take the field.     

(Disclaimer: you WILL have to do some research to view some of these games.  EPL games are typically easy to find, but Serie A/La Liga/Ligue 1/etc. games are not.  Use resources on the internet to help locate network games or even live streaming of the matches online.)

As the games are listed below, if you click on the name of the goalkeeper, i.e. Hugo Lloris, you will find a link to a highlight reel of that GK to see some of his top saves and learn about the special qualities that he possesses.

All times listed below are Mountain Time (MT)

January 1st - Happy New Year!

6:30am - Watford v. Tottenham (EPL)

Who to Watch?: Hugo Lloris 

9:00am - Arsenal v. Crystal Palace (EPL)

Who to Watch? Petr Cech

January 4th

1:00pm - Tottenham v. Chelsea (EPL)

Who to Watch? Thibaut Courtois AND Hugo Lloris 

January 5th

1:15pm - Athletico Bilbao v. Barcelona (Spanish Copa Del Ray, Leg 1)

Who to Watch? Marc Andre Ter Stegen

January 7th

5:30am-10:30am - There are 25 games scheduled as the FA Cup continues!  Visit for a full list of scores & fixtures.

January 8th

9:00am - Ferreira v. FC Porto (La Liga)

Who to Watch? Iker Casillas

12:45pm - Juventus v. Bologna (Serie A)

Who to Watch? Gianluigi Buffon

January 12th

1:00pm - Milan v. Torino (Italian Cup)

Who to Watch? Joe Hart

January 15th

9:00am - Manchester United v. Liverpool (EPL)

Who to Watch? David de Gea

January 17th

1:00pm - Inter Milan v. Bologna (Italian Cup)

Who to Watch? Samir Handanovic

January 20th

12:30pm - SC Freiburg v. Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)

Who to Watch?  Manuel Neuer

January 21st

10:30am - Manchester City v. Tottenham (EPL)

Who to Watch? Claudio Bravo AND Hugo Lloris 

January 28th

12:00pm - Lyon v. Lille (Ligue 1)

Who to Watch? Vincent Enyeama

Of course, this list is in no way comprehensive - there are so many top quality goalkeepers out there that I did not have a chance to mention.  If you have a favorite team or goalkeeper, I encourage you to watch that player in action as much as possible.

Be critical, engaged, and observant when you watch these games.  Don't just watch for the enjoyment of a good match - take mental notes about what the GK is doing with the ball, without the ball, and in moments of transition.  Notice positioning in/around the goal as well as in/around the penalty box.  Listen for commands and organization.  Use your remote to stop, rewind, and slow down their shot stopping technique - see if you can learn something from how they do it!

Happy New Year and I look forward to starting the season in the coming months! 

Coach O.

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