Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for June, MLSsoccer.com announced on Thursday. He becomes the first goalkeeper to win the award since July 2011 (Kevin Hartman) and the second goalkeeper in club history to earn the honor (Tony Meola, May 2000).
Kronberg kept clean sheets and recorded road wins in each of Sporting Kansas City's only two MLS matches in June as the club moved back atop the Eastern Conference standings. He made saves on all six shots faced, including five from inside the penalty area, and he led all goalkeepers in the month with six punches while extending his shutout streak to 242 minutes.
Most recently, Kronberg proved pivotal in last Friday's 1-0 victory at the Portland Timbers and was the top ranked player in the MLS Castrol Index for Week 16. The Timbers, first place finishers in the Western Conference a year ago, lead all MLS teams with 19 home goals scored in 2014 but were kept at bay for their first shutout loss at home during the regular season since July 28, 2012.
Kronberg opened the month with an equally emphatic road win, making three saves in a 2-0 victory at the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Championship. Kronberg became the first goalkeeper to earn a shutout at BBVA Compass Stadium this season.
Sporting Kansas City selected Kronberg in the fourth round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California. Now in his ninth professional season, the 31-year-old is the club's longest-tenured player and has remained with his current club longer than any active MLS goalkeeper. Only one player (Davy Arnaud) in club history has been with the team for more than nine seasons and only three other active MLS players have longer tenures with their teams: Logan Pause (12), Landon Donovan (10) and Gonzalo Segares (10).
Kronberg leads all Major League Soccer goalkeepers with seven shutouts and a 0.88 goals against average (minimum 400 minutes played) in 2014. He currently ranks third at his position in MLS All-Star fan voting, trailing only World Cup participants Nick Rimando (USA) and Julio Cesar (Brazil).
Receiving nearly half of all votes amongst the five nominees, Kronberg is the second Sporting Kansas City player to receive Player of the Month recognition in as many months. Forward Dom Dwyer was voted the league's top performer in May with six goals scored.
Under a new format in 2014, Major League Soccer's Player of the Month is determined by the fans via online voting. Five nominees are selected each month by the editorial staff of MLSsoccer.com.
KC All-Time Players of the Month (10)
April 2000: Miklos Molnar
May 2000: Tony Meola
May 2003: Preki
June 2004: Chris Klein
August 2005: Scott Sealy
June 2006: Jose Burciaga Jr.
April 2007: Eddie Johnson
June 2011: Graham Zusi
May 2014: Dom Dwyer
June 2014: Eric Kronberg
2014 MLS Players of the Month
March: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas)
April: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
May: Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC)
June: Eric Kronberg (Sporting KC)