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Player of the match: Zac MacMath keeps a clean sheet in his return to goal

With his second start of 2021, MacMath shows his experience to help RSL get a point on the road

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Zac MacMath has had a strange career. He was the starting keeper for the Philadelphia Union, was loaned, and eventually traded, to the Colorado Rapids, where he was the starting keeper until Tim Howard signed as DP.

His time with Real Salt Lake hasn’t been consistent, either. After the retirement of Nick Rimando, MacMath joined Real and even took the number 18 shirt (a number he had worn previously). He seemed like a decent replacement for Rimando, even if he was stepping in to replace an irreplaceable player. At the beginning of the 2020 season, MacMath was the starting keeper for RSL, but Andrew Putna eventual took over after Zac had a run of poor form. David Ochoa started the last game of 2020 and has been the uncontested starter this season. But with an injury concern for young David, MacMath got his second start of the season this weekend.

Real Salt Lake have only had 4 clean sheets this season and it’s impressive that MacMath was a part of one of those this week. With only three games under his belt in 2021 (two with RSL and one with the Monarchs), MacMath showed his experience in this game. The backline was good, with Justen Glad playing very well despite a second yellow that saw him leave the game. Outside the defense, the team didn’t shine too brightly. There wasn’t a lot of creativity going forward, but RSL dealt with Houston’s attack well.

When former RSL attacker Corey Baird came on and injected some life into the Dynamo, MacMath was there and able to keep Baird off the scoresheet. At one point, MacMath was way outside the box, which probably was not a good position to be in, but he was able to shutdown Baird. With 4 saves, MacMath did well with the chance he was given and seems to have worked through his 2020 struggles.