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RSL vs. NYRB: Matt VanOekel, Man of the Match

RSL’s depth is coming in handy thus far.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at New York Red Bulls Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Matt VanOekel made his MLS debut against the New York Red Bulls. It was not an easy task playing on the road after a week of turmoil within the organization. He came through for RSL in a big way in spite of the odds.

Sure, the defense did their part to get the shutout, but VanOekel commanded the box seamlessly. He was tested multiple times with what seemed like a more difficult task each time, but he passed with flying colors. He made three saves which were shots on goal, but he also made a couple stops that very well could have and probably should have led to goals from the home team.

He showed us his footwork, confidence, and skill in his first showing. If this is what we can look forward to when Nick Rimando is out of the lineup for whatever reason, we should get used to the chant, “Matt VanOekel.”