CPL fans can submit their ballots from Dec. 2-15 on three awards: the Allstate Good Hands Award for the best save in 2019, the Goal of the Year Award, and the 11-man Team of the Year.
It’s been a long season, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting the details about some of the moments in these categories. So, to help out voters, here are the three saves nominated for the Good Hands Award.
Marco Carducci, Cavalry FC — vs. Forge FC, October 26
In an incredibly dramatic Finals 2019, this moment in the first half of Leg 1 might have been the most spectacular. The setting was rife with controversy, as Tristan Borges stood over the penalty spot after Joel Waterman’s badly mistimed slide produced a clear handball and a red card for the Cavs defender.
The CPL’s Golden Boot leader, at the time looking for his 13th goal, sought an early advantage for Forge with the spot kick. Marco Carducci had other ideas, though. Borges pranced around the ball before driving it straight down the middle with his left foot, managing to force Carducci into a dive to his left.
Not yet out of it, though, Carducci desperately kicked out with his right foot, and he just about managed to catch the ball and send it out of the box. The man eventually crowned Goalkeeper of the Year proved his worth with surely the best of all his many saves in 2019.
Nathan Ingham, York9 FC — vs. Cavalry FC, September 28
The York9 FC ‘keeper saved his club from a fair amount of embarrassment with this one. Already down a goal, and having conceded to a nine-man Cavalry, the Nine Stripes were struggling to break through as they vied for a win that could save their season.
Cavalry’s Nik Ledgerwood won the ball in midfield and sprang yet another counter-attack. Ledgerwood fed Jordan Brown with an incisive pass down the left flank while he himself drifted towards goal. Brown played in his pass deep into the box, just a step ahead of three York9 defenders, and it looked like a sure goal for Ledgerwood from point-blank range.
Nathan Ingham, though, stood tall. He remained a metre off his goal-line and spread his arms as wide as possible, blocking every inch of Ledgerwood’s view of the net that he possibly could. His sharp reflexes allowed him to get enough of his left forearm on the ball, sending it back down the middle for his midfielders to win back.
York9 managed to scrape a draw thanks to Wataru Murofushi’s equalizer on the last kick of the match, which wasn’t enough to keep them in the Fall title race, but they were spared the disaster of losing to a nine-man side thanks to Ingham’s heroics.
Mark Village, Pacific FC — vs. York9 FC, August 17
Shortly after losing his number-one job at Pacific to Nolan Wirth, Mark Village put in this spectacular performance at York Lions Stadium. On an afternoon where he secured the Tridents’ first clean sheet in 14 games, his save in the 77th minute was the most impressive.
The Nine Stripes were sending wave upon wave of unsuccessful attacks at the Pacific net. Simon Adjei managed to poke the ball out wide to left-back Diyaeddine Abzi, giving York9 a second chance to run at Pacific defenders.
Abzi danced toward goal, faking out Zach Verhoven and catching Terran Campbell flat-footed, before trying his luck with a curler from the top of the box. Had it gone in, it might’ve been one of the better goals of the season.
Village, however, tracked the shot well, showing off his athleticism in leaping to reach for the ball. He made contact with the tip of his right hand, redirecting it just enough to send it over the bar and preserve a fragile 1-0 lead.