Israel isn’t known for producing great goal keepers but occasionally they produce a really good keeper. Let’s take a look at who I think are currently the 5 best keepers in Israel.
5) Ophir Martziano(Ashdod)
Martziano is a good young keeper, and has been key to Ashdod’s success this year, as they look to secure a European sport for next season. Martziano has good reflexes and is still young and developing, however he is still under the radar.
4) Guy Haimov(Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Haimov, who made his debut with Israel’s National Football Team against Croatia, couldn’t do much when Israel let in three goals, but he has done well for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Haimov was injured for much of the season, but now he is back, and has done a good job.
3. Dudu Aouate(Mallorca)
Aouate is an experienced journeyman goalkeeper, and has done well for himself playing in the Primera Liga in Spain. However, his reflexes have slowed with age and he doesn’t make spectacular saves that he used to make. His experience makes him an asset to the National Team, and he will continue to be the first choice keeper for the foreseeable future.
2.Dani Amos(Kiryat Shmona)
Amos has been one of the Israeli league’s best keepers over the past few seasons, however he didn’t get much recognition until this season because Kiryat Shmona is a smaller club.Kiryat Shmona are on the verge of capturing their first Israeli title and Amos was duly called up to the National Team for a friendly against the Ukraine, although he didn’t play, he may get a chance in Israel’s next friendly.
1. Ariel Harush(Beitar Jerusalem)
Harush is a great young keeper, and it has been puzzling why he has been left out of the National Team. Harush has been called up before, but never made any appearances. I do believe Harush will get a call up in the future, depending on who the manager is for Israel’s National Team. Harush is young and athletic, and is good at saving penalties. Definitely a player for the future.
I’m trying to compile a list of Israeli youth players that are playing abroad. Here are the ones I am aware of below. If you know of any others, please let me know.
Chen Berkovich(21) Valladolid Reserves
Omri Altman(18) Fulham Reserves/Academy
Amit Mizrahi(15) Valladolid Cadete
Shlomi Zeitoun(17) Valladolid Juvenil
Ram Nizri (14) Atletico Madrid Infantil
- Yossi Benayoun(Arsenal) did not play
- Tal Ben-Haim(Portsmouth) played the whole game in a 2-0 loss to Coventry
- Gai Assulin (Brighton) did not play
- Dekel Keinan(Bristol City) came on in the 90th minute in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough
- Beram Kayal(Celtic) out injured for the season
- Tomer Hemed(Mallorca) came on in the 54th minute in a 2-0 loss to Barcelona
- Dudu Aouate(Mallorca) played the whole game in a 2-0 loss to to Barcelona
- Itay Shechter(Kaiserslautern) came on in the 77th minute in a 2-0 loss to Freiburg
- Almog Cohen(Nurnberg) did not play
- Eran Zahavi(Palermo) did not play
- Eden Ben Basat(Brest) played 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Nancy
- Ben Sahar(Auxerre) did not play
- Alex Zahavi(Setubal) did not play
- Dani Bondar(Nizhny Novgorod) played the full 90 minutes in 3-1 win over Grozny
- Bibras Natcho(Rubin Kazan) played the full 90 minutes and had an assist in a 1-1 draw with Zenit
- Zeev Haimovic(Terek Grozny)did not play
- Gil Vermouth(De Graafschap) played 61 minutes in a 3-1 loss Feyenoord
- Samuel Scheimann(SBV Excelsior) played a full 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Groningen
- Dan Roman(Veendam) played the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 loss to Maastricht
The Belgian League did not play this weekend
- Lior Rafaelov(Club Brugge)
- Maor Buzaglo(Standard Liege)
- Rami Gershon(Standard Liege)
- Elyaniv Barda(Genk)
- Dor Malul(Beerschot)
- Roee Dayan(Beerschot)
- Liroi Tzairi(Mechelen)
- Shlomi Arbeitman(Westerlo)
- Moshe Ohayon(Luzern) played the whole game in a 1-0 win over Zurich
- Yuval Spungin(Omonia) did not play
- Dedi Ben Dayan(Omonia) did not play
- Idan Sade(Paralimni) did not play
- Roee Bakal(Alki Larnaca) did not play
- Aviram Baruchyan(Polonia Warsaw) played 58 minutes in a 3-0 loss to Kielce
- Maor Melikson(Wisla Krakow) played 45 minutes in a loss to Churzow
- Dudu Biton(Wisla Krakow) played 68 minutes in a loss Churzow
- Liad Elimelech(Bielsko Biala) did not play
- Liran Cohen(Bielsko Biala) played 58 minutes in a 3-2 win over
- Idan Baruch(CS Concordia)did not play
- Orr Barouch(Chicago Fire)did not play
Israeli Businessman Barak Abramov is reportedly interested in purchasing Beitar Jerusalem after a potential deal for him to takeover Bnei Yehuda is on the verge of falling through. Abramov would offer some stability to the Jerusalem club, after several years of turmoil due to the withdrawn support of current owner Arkady Gaydamak. Beitar have shown a vein good form under current manager Eli Cohen winning their last four games and are likely to stay up after looking like certain relegation candidates earlier in the season.
The Israeli player has gone mainstream in Europe with over twenty Israeli players now playing professionally in Europe. You would think that this would help the National Team, however the National Team has stagnated, but there is a good group of young players making a name for themselves that could do well in the future.
10. Omri Altman (Attacking Midfielder)
The young talent passed on many bigger clubs in England to join Fulham FC’s youth academy, and earned his first professional contract this January with Fulham. Although he hasn’t made any appearances yet for Fulham’s senior team, he has made several appearances for Israel’s U-19 National Team, and helped them into the Elite Round of the Uefa U-19 tournament. Altman has been tipped for great things at the English club.
9. Orr Barouch (Striker)
Barouch was unknown in Israel until he started playing professionally in the USA for the Chicago Fire. So far Barouch has played two games for Israel’s U-21 and has played very well. Barouch has good height, speed, and ball control, and seems to be a very good prospect for Israel. However he will need to get more minute with his current team if he wants to develop and eventually move to a bigger club.
8. Omri Ben Harush (Left-Back)
Israel has not had a quality fullback in over ten years playing for the National Team, but that could change with Omri Ben-Harush. Ben-Harush has good speed and height for a full-back and is comfortable with the ball at his feet, he has already played twice for the National team, and has put in reasonably good performances but still needs to improve his decision making.
7. Eyal Golasa (Attacking Midfielder)
Golasa was last put on a list over two years ago mentioning him as a top 10 player in the under 22 age group, however Golasa has stagnated as a player with Haifa since then. Although he has given some outstanding performances for his club and the U-21 National Team, he has also had many disappointing games. He needs to be more consistent, and has also been troubled by injuries as well. Golasa is a good dribbler of the ball and strong in possession, but often takes too many touches, and as often he gets forward, he doesn’t score very many goals. Golasa really needs to improve his decision making in order to become a better player.
6. Ben Sahar (Left Winger/Striker)
Once the golden boy of Israeli football, Ben Sahar now plays for French strugglers Auxerre on loan from Espanyol. Sahar has only scored three league goals this season. However he has been deployed is a left winger for most of the season which has probably reduced the amount of goals he could score. In his appearance against the Ukraine recently for the National, Sahar scored a goal. I think Ben has improved as a player over the current season, but it is doubtful he will stay at Auxerre, and unlikely he will get any playing time at Espanyol. I think a move to the Netherlands would be best for him.
5. Taleb Tawatha( Left-Back)
One of the youngest players on this list, Tawatha has been playing profession football since he was 17 for Maccabi Haifa, now already a journeyman at aged 19, Tawatha has several caps for the National Team and has generated interested from abroad. Tawatha has good speed, dribbling ability, and football IQ. However he does need to get stronger, as he does get out-muscled often in 50-50 situations. It is very possible Tawatha may being playing abroad next year.
4. Mounes Dabbour (Attacking Midfielder)
Another young player is worth mentioning is Mounes Dabbour, he recently had a goal and an assist in a victory over Ukraine’s U-21 side. He has also scored four goals this season in twenty appearances for Maccabi Tel Aviv and is a regular starter. However he does have a tendency to miss easy shots on goal, but he does have a lot of upside with good ball control, passing, movement and shooting, and decent pace.
3. Alon Turgeman(Striker)
A product of the Beitar Nes Tubruk academy, Turgeman is has alot of potential to do better things, but so far has only produced a limited amount of goals this season. However his blessed with excellent pace and good fit skills, and is a good finisher on goal, perhaps with a new manager next season he will thrive more.
2. Gai Assulin(Attacking Midfielder)
The Barcelona graduate, Assulin has had the weight of expectations on him for a while, but has failed to produce mainly due to a series of injuries. Now, Assulin is on loan at Brighton in the English Championship and hopes he will be able to show his skills. I think he is the most talented player of his generation in Israel, but he needs to find a club where he can get playing time, and he must get healthy.
1. Nir Biton(Midfielder)
Biton is an unusual combination of height, good speed, and excellent technique which has put him on the radar of the biggest clubs in Europe. Biton is a cool customer with the with ball, and has good shot on him as well. He already went on trial at Manchester City and impressed but will probably move to a club this summer in Europe where he can get playing time.
Israeli center back Dekel Keinan has gone on loan to English Championship strugglers Bristol City after only making seven appearances with Cardiff City all season long. Keinan used to be a regular starter for Israel’s national football team when he played for Maccabi Haifa, but has since struggled after moving to England. Keinan’s major problem is his lack of speed, which was one reason he failed to crack the starting lienup at Blackpool during their stay in the Premier League.
Israeli journeyman striker Moshe Biton is on trial at the MLS club, The Columbus Crew. Biton whose best seasons have been with Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, has not been able to get into scoring form with his current club, Hapoel Haifa. Biton isn’t very big for a striker at only 1.77 meters, but he does have good technique and is a strong player, so it will be interesting to see if he can make the team in Columbus.