At the start of the season, Joe Bendik was everyone’s pick to be the starter for Orlando City. The 28-year-old has been nothing short of fantastic thus far, and has not let down City fans with his performance.
Currently, Bendik is one of the top goalkeepers, statistically, in MLS. He is tied for fifth in clean sheets and has the best record out of all the goalkeepers in the league.
Despite his impressive run of form, the New York native has not received the recognition he deserves. In two recent articles that appeared on Fox Sports and FourFourTwo, the United States Men’s National Team goalkeeping situation was addressed from the standpoint of players such as Nick Rimando and Tim Howard having under-performed thus far in the MLS season. However, there was no mention of Bendik in either of these pieces, despite both stories listing several potential replacements for the usual suspects.
Bendik has never played for the USMNT, but he has seen time with the U-17 and U-20 teams during his youth years. His numbers aren’t by any means flashy in his previous seasons in MLS, however, this season is proving to a breakout season for him on top of last year’s very good campaign. But is it enough to make a case for a spot in a U.S. training camp?
The USMNT goalkeeping pool contains players who have been given opportunities but haven’t necessarily performed to expectations and others who have seen injuries sideline them and keep them from making an impact. Bendik could be a breath of fresh air and at least add some more competition to the goalkeeping situation.
With a number of young goalkeepers coming up the ranks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of them get a call-up in the near future, but for now, Bendik is deserving of at least consideration for a call-up. He has been a key part of Orlando City’s hot start to the season and is on his way to his best season of his career.