Ricketts with the Galaxy in August 2010
|Full name||Donovan Ricketts|
|Date of birth||7 June 1977|
|Place of birth||Montego Bay, Jamaica|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|2004–2005||→ Bradford City (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009–2011||Los Angeles Galaxy||70||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 20, 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Donovan Ricketts (born 7 June 1977 in Montego Bay) is a Jamaican footballer who plays as goalkeeper for Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer. Ricketts played more than 100 games for Bradford City in England, and has more than 100 appearances in Major League Soccer and has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He is also the captain of the Jamaica national football team, and had earned 100 caps for his country.
High School, College and move to England
Ricketts attended Cornwall College High School where he played on the Dacosta Cup team. After high school he played for teams such as Wadadah and Village United in his native Jamaica. Rickets alerted English clubs after an impressive performance for Jamaica against Brazil, in a match played at Leicester City FC in 2003. A subsequent trial at Rushden & Diamonds FC - who already had fellow Reggae Boys' Onandi Lowe and Paul Hall in their ranks - did not result in a contract offer, and instead Ricketts signed for English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers in 2004.
Ricketts never played a game at Bolton and instead moved to Bradford City initially on a year-long loan in July 2004. He spent most of his first season in English football as understudy to Australian Paul Henderson before he finally made his debut in April 2005 and played in the final four games. During the season break he signed permanently on a two-year deal keeping him at City until 2007. He missed nine games because of a broken foot early in the 2005–06 season and was replaced by Russell Howarth. He regained his place against Port Vale, before he again missed a game in December 2005 after he was sent off for celebrating a City goal in a game at Southend United. He was immediately recalled to the side following his suspension, and played the following 80 league games, including as ever-present in the 2006–07 season.
His run of games came to an end when he was dropped in October 2007 after a poor run of form. He was recalled for the game against Brentford on 3 November 2007 after Rhys Evans' loan was cut short by injury, playing the next 13 games. He was expected to make a move to Queens Park Rangers during the January transfer window and was replaced by loan keeper Scott Loach for Bradford's 4–2 victory over Shrewsbury Town, but his move collapsed when he was refused a work permit. Despite Ricketts' return, Loach kept his place in the City side for their 1–0 win at Macclesfield Town, saving a second-half penalty, but manager Stuart McCall told Ricketts he could still have a future at the club. Loach continued to keep Ricketts out of the team since his arrival on loan from Watford. And after Ricketts had played for Jamaica in March 2008, he was stopped by immigration officials at Heathrow Airport and sent back to New York because he did not have the correct paperwork. Bradford were also told a new work permit application would be turned down. Instead, Ricketts returned to Jamaica to train with the country's under 21 side, before being one of 13 players to be released by Bradford manager Stuart McCall at the end of the season.
Return to Jamaica
Having spent the summer, training and playing with the Jamaican international side, he returned to his former side Village United in August 2008, under the management of Dean Weatherly. He lasted only 45 minutes in his return to the Village United side, after he complained of double vision at half-time after he was hit with the ball during the first half of a game with Portmore United. The game ended 1–1, with Portmore's goal coming from a mistake from Ricketts.
Los Angeles Galaxy
On 23 December 2008, Los Angeles Galaxy announced they had signed Ricketts for the 2009 Major League Soccer season. Ricketts also attracted interest from Canadian side Toronto FC but he opted to join Los Angeles on the advice of his international colleague Tyrone Marshall, who had played for both sides.
Ricketts enjoyed a successful first season in Major League Soccer under Bruce Arena, leading the Galaxy to the Western Division title. His squad successfully reached the 2009 MLS Cup Final. In that championship final, he sustained a mid-game injury and was replaced backup goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Saunders filled in well, considering Ricketts started most of the games in the '09 season, but it was not enough to fend off Real Salt Lake, who won via penalties. In 2010, Ricketts was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Ricketts did not play most of the 2011 season due to injury, and was replaced by Saunders again while his team won the 2011 MLS Cup.
On November 28, 2011 the Montreal Impact acquired Ricketts from the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for allocation money. Ricketts was protected in MLS Expansion Draft, necessitating a trade to acquire his services.
Ricketts has been a big part of the Reggae Boyz programme, dating back to the days of former Technical Director Renê Simões. Ricketts has not only kept goal for Jamaica at the senior level, but has also done it at various junior levels for his country. He came through the national ranks under the guidance of goalkeeping coach, Paul Campbell.
Ricketts is a World Cup veteran, being named to the Jamaican squad that played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. However, with Warren Barrett and Aaron Lawrence ahead of him in the pecking order, the opportunity never presented itself for him to see any game time. Ricketts represented Jamaica in all eight of their 2010 World Cup qualifying matches, where they were eliminated in the third round stage.
Los Angeles Galaxy
- MLS Cup (1): 2011
- Major League Soccer Supporters' Shield (2): 2010, 2011
- Major League Soccer Western Conference Championship (2): 2009, 2011
- MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: 2010, 2013
- "Ricketts makes belated debut". Telegraph & Argus. 2004-07-28. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "The number one choice". Telegraph & Argus. 2005-04-14. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Ricketts has the safest hands in England". Telegraph & Argus. 2005-11-26. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Port Vale 0-1 Bradford". BBC Sport. 2005-10-15. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "'Sent off for simply celebrating a goal'". Telegraph & Argus. 2005-12-12. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Ricketts can earn lucrative progress". Telegraph & Argus. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Bradford 2006/2007 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Parker, Simon (2007-10-07). "City fall short in land of the giants". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Bradford 1-2 Brentford". BBC Sport. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- Parker, Simon (2008-01-29). "City to receive 'minimal' fee for Ricketts". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- "Bradford 4-2 Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Crowther, Mike (2008-01-30). "Ricketts returns to City". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- "Macclesfield 0-1 Bradford". BBC Sport. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
- Parker, Simon (2008-02-06). "Lifeline for Ricketts". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2008-02-07. "We haven't closed the door on Donovan."
- "Ricketts refused re-entry to UK". BBC Sport. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- Flynn, LeVaughn (2008-05-11). "Ricketts keeping in shape with U21s". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Parker, Simon (2008-04-29). "Johnson one of 13 axed by City". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Reid, Paul (2008-08-27). "Weatherly back at Village for NPL season". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2008-08-29.[dead link]
- Reid, Paul (2008-09-30). "Village United hold Portmore at home". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2008-10-04.[dead link]
- "Galaxy sign Jamaican 'keeper Ricketts". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-23.[dead link]
- Morgan, Larry (2009-02-11). "Ricketts angling to man Galaxy goal". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 2009-02-11.[dead link]
- Lamport-Stokes, Mark (2008-12-24). "Soccer-Jamaica goalkeeper Ricketts signed by the Galaxy". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
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