MLS

Roman Celentano Continues to Improve with Each Passing Week, and Has Pushed Himself to be a Top Goalkeeper League Wide

Academy: FC Cincinnati U13 and U14 Squads to Compete at 2022 Patterson Cup

June 6, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

It may come as a shock (to some) to learn that in the lifespan of his soccer career, FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano is still very much in his early days. Celentano, a native of Naperville, Illinois and alumni of Indiana University, only started his keeper journey in high school, joining his high school team with very little lower-level training.

Three years later, he took the starting job at IU as a freshman, and three years later, he was drafted by FC Cincinnati in the MLS SuperDraft and seized the starting job soon thereafter.

In the span of (roughly) seven years, Celentano has gone from not being a competitive soccer player to one of the most exciting and high-potential American goalkeepers in the world. He’s been a finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, has been called into national team camps, and is routinely cited by national media as a player who should be considered for major tournament selection.

Celentano is off to a hot start in the 2024 season despite missing four games due to injury in the middle of his 12 starts this season. Celentano is third in clean sheets with five despite five fewer starts than the leading duo of Kristijan Kahlina and Hugo Lloris; he is first in save percentage with 82.1 percent, has conceded the fewest goals per 90 with 0.83, and has been the best shot-stopping keeper in the league this season with Post Shot Expected Goals minus Goals Allowed (cleverly shortened by the analytical types to PSxG+/-) of positive 3.2.

It was a goal this year for Celentano to continue building on his successful 2023, a season in which he started 33 of 34 matches in the Supporters’ Shield-winning effort and established himself as not only one of the ‘young’ stars in the league but also as one of the de facto star goalkeepers in MLS.

“He’s definitely matured. The experience of last year, being a starting goalkeeper for a winning organization has really propelled him forward and I think you can see it in his performances,” defender Matt Miazga said of Celentano’s development this season. “The maturity he displays now, the decision making he has… I think the numbers speak for themselves.”

“You can trust him to make a save,” Nick Hagglund said of the keeper. “If you’re nervous that your goalkeepers are not going to make a save, you’re going to be hesitant to make a move. So I feel like knowing Roman’s back there gives us confidence to play the way that we…

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