BEST THUNDER PLAYER Minneapolis 2005 - Joe Warren
"You'll never beat Joe Warren" is the chant often heard during Minnesota Thunder games at James Griffin Stadium (a.k.a. The Jimmy). Last season--Warren's second as the soccer team's top net-minder--the boast was almost literally true. The Thunder's 31-year-old goalkeeper notched 15 shutouts (one short of a league record), yielding just 20 goals in 27 matches. That works out to an average of .69 goals per game, the second stingiest ledger in the league. At one point, the St. Thomas University product and Minneapolis native went seven-plus games--an astounding 777 minutes--without conceding a goal, a franchise record. Warren's ball distribution out of the back can be erratic, but he's an absolute beast inside the penalty box. He utilizes his 6'5", 220-pound frame to clear out any threatening balls and physically punish would-be scorers. With Warren returning for the upcoming season, the Thunder will undoubtedly once again have one of the toughest defenses in the league.