With the Philadelphia Union’s training camp well underway, there are five goalies at the camp. While Zac MacMath will most likely be the starter for 2013 season barring an injury, last year’s backups Chris Konopka and Chase Harrison along with Diego Restrepo and Tunde Ogunbiyi are fighting for a spot on the squad. Harrison is currently out of contract, and Konopka is nursing and injury, so Restrepo and Oqunbiyi each have a legitimate chance of making the Union’s roster.
John Hackworth didn’t intend to bring in five keepers to camp to challenge MacMath, but even if the intention was not to challenge him, it still will.
“We do want to push Zac,” the Union manager said. “We want him to know he has to step up this year. But he knows that already. So we’re not really doing that by the number of goalkeepers or anything.”
Last season, the goal keeping was the stronghold at times, but also had its week spots. In the offseason, MacMath trained alongside Everton and United States Men’s National Team goalie Tim Howard to improve his game. This was the third straight year he trained with Howard in the offseason.
With MacMath having a year under his belt as a starting goalie in the MLS, his confidence is there. It could be a breakout season for him and that is what he is hoping for.
“I feel a lot more comfortable than in past years,” MacMath said. “I hope this is my year to have a breakout year and show that I can be one of the top goalkeepers in the league.”
MacMath’s renewed confidence, experience in the starting role, and the depth of goalies at training camp pushing him, look for MacMath to be a force to reckon with in net and a stronghold for the Union this season.