It’s safe to say the first full season with Eloy Room as the Columbus Crew goalkeeper has been a successful one. The Dutch shot-stopper made an immediate impact since arriving in Central Ohio last summer. The 31 year old looks poised to continue the longstanding tradition of excellence in the net for the Black & Gold.
Room’s efforts this season have garnered attention from around Major League Soccer. On Monday afternoon, the 2020 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner was announced as the Philadelphia Union Andre Blake. Room, one of three finalists, finished third in the overall voting behind the New England Revolution’s Matt Turner.
The winner was determined by a vote of a panel of current MLS players, MLS club technical staffs and a select group of media. Blake claimed the award with an astonishing 44.12 percent of the vote, after boasting an MVP caliber season. It marks the second time in his career that the Jamaican international has captured the distinct honor. Turner finished in second place with 12.21 percent of the vote, while Room finished in third place with 7.44 percent of the total vote. Orlando City SC’s Pedro Gallese was the fourth-place finisher with 8.49 percent of the vote while the Seattle Sounders’ Stefan Frei (4.78 percent) and New York City FC’s Sean Johnson (4.32 percent) finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Interestingly though, the Columbus goalkeeper finished second in the voting by MLS players, receiving 10.03 percent of their vote, behind only Blake’s 33.02 percent. This meant that players that either played against or watch Room on film believed he was the second-best goalkeeper in MLS in 2020.
Room shouldn’t hang his head in disappointment but rather celebrate an incredible season. The Crew backstop made 17 appearances, all starts, and managed seven shutouts, tied for third-best in MLS, and accumulating a 0.88 goals against average. The goalkeeper made 41 saves in over 1500 minutes of action in a less than normal 2020 MLS campaign. Room also had a consecutive shutout streak of 473 minutes, ranging from the Black & Gold’s 4-0 win against rivals FC Cincinnati to kick off the MLS is Back Tournament and ending five matches later in the 2-2 draw on the road to the Chicago Fire.
He managed to put up impressive numbers despite missing time due to injury when he hurt his hamstring during the MLS is Back Tournament and again sat out multiple games in October with an apparent knee injury. It will be exciting for Crew fans to see what he can do next season should he remain completely healthy and no miss any time.
Room and his Black & Gold teammates return to action on Saturday, Nov. 21st, at 3 p.m. ET when they welcome the New York Red Bulls to MAPFRE Stadium for their opening round fixture of the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs.