At the start of 2022, it’s doubtful that any fan would have expected MacMath to be the starting keeper for Real Salt Lake, but at some point in pre-season Ochoa picked up a minor injury and Zac got the nod to start, and then things snowballed. With Zac performing well, the coaching staff opted not to change things when Ochoa recovered, and things got a bit cloudy ... but that’s in the past, and for a different player.
MacMath continued to have his best career season ever racking up 10 clean sheets and playing every minute of every game for 2022, the only RSL player to accomplish that achievement. He made the MLS Team of the Week in Week 4 for making 7 saves vs Nashville, and maintaining RSL’s unbeaten streak. By the end of the year he had a 69.4% save rate, which wasn’t MLS GK of the year level, but going into the final few months he was still in consideration for the honor.
What’s next for Zac MacMath
Big Mac is only 31, and is still under contract with RSL. It looks likely that he will once again be in goal for 2023.
Zac MacMath’s impact for Real Salt Lake
It cannot be understated how much RSL relied on MacMath in 2022. Just like Rimando before him, Zac’s performance kept us in a lot of games - including saving 3 out of the 9 Penalty Kicks he faced. Sure Ochoa had the personality that our fans loved and opponents hated, but Zac went about his job very businesslike. It wasn’t always flashy, and he didn’t win a bunch of Team of the Week honors for it; but he often got the job done when we needed him to.
A look ahead at 2023
There’s always room for improvement! Barring injury there’s no reason MacMath can’t repeat his ironman performance from last year. If he can also improve his save percentage and clean sheets, he could very well be a contender for MLS Golden Glove. Naturally he also needs to have some good defenders in front to assist him, but that’s for another article.