BALTIMORE, Md. (CBS) — It wasn’t hard to see during their inaugural season that a weakness for the Philadelphia Union was the goalkeeper position.
Now, team officials hope they have addressed that problem with their first-round pick in the 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
With the fifth overall selection, Philadelphia selected University of Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath (above) on Wednesday.
A Florida native, MacMath told KYW Newsradio soon after he was selected that he is excited to come to a city he is already pretty familiar with.
“My dad is actually from Philly, so I grew up going back and forth between my hometown in St. Petersburg and Philly to visit relatives and all that, so I’ve actually got a lot of ties to the Philadelphia area,” MacMath said.
Hear the entire Zac MacMath interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
And MacMath comes to Philadelphia with some eyepopping numbers. As a junior in 2010 for the Terps, he set a program record with 15 shutouts in 23 starts.
He had a 0.64 GAA this past season — a season which saw Maryland reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship for the third consecutive season.
What does he thinks made him a top five draft pick?
“I think I’ve matured quite quickly as a young player and I actually try to take a leadership role, and I hope to do that with the Philadelphia Union,” MacMath replied. “On the field, I just try to have the confidence and the belief in my teammates that they have someone back there that will save them if need be. I really don’t try to do anything flashy — my job is to keep the ball out of the back of the net and that’s what I always plan on doing.”
Last season, Chris Seitz was the main goalie for the Union; he didn’t register a shutout in 22 starts. Seitz has since been traded; he is now in Dallas.
Reported by Matt Leon and Greg Orlandini, KYW Newsradio 1060.