With no valid excuse to be found in either the inclement weather or the Portland Timbers attacker giving challenge, inexperienced Philadelphia Union goalkeeper ZAC MACMATH, the 20-year-old native of St. Petersburg, Florida, who put in a couple of seasons at the University of Maryland before turning professional, fails to catch a high ball cleanly in the season-opening Major League Soccer match last Monday at the rainy Jeld-Wen Field in the northwestern state of Oregon.
The PHILADELPHIA UNION supporters may be none to pleased to read this particular piece, but one thing this blog will never do is sugar-coat a scouting report in order to coddle a bunch of soccer-naive Americans still obviously learning what is to be legitmately expected of a goalkeeper attempting to pass himself off as a “major league” professional.
To say that the performance of Philadelphia Union goalkeeper ZAC MACMATH in the 2012 Major League Soccer opener opposite the Portland Timbers was shaky, at best, IS being polite!
The match “highlights” as presented with the article “BOTH HIGHS AND LOWS EVIDENT AS MACMATH ERA BEGINS : One Mistake Aside, 20-Year-Old GK Shows Class In ’12 Opener” at the official website of the Philadelphia Union were actually rather painful to watch, in all honesty :
“One mistake aside”? … Author DAVID ZEITLIN has to be kidding himself and clearly has very limited experience observing standard, run-of-the-mill, professional class goalkeeping as exhibited on a week in and week out basis not only in Germany but all across Europe, as well. A quick review of the footage presented with Zeitlin’s article, then.
MacMath can count himself extremely lucky that the shot from Portland Timbers midfielder ERIC ALEXANDER, the Indiana University product who earned his first senior cap for the United States in January of 2011, did not end up in the back of the net. Had MacMath propelled himself into the air as he attempted to palm the ball over the bar, his body’s momentum would have greatly helped to steer the ball with maximum authority. As it was, the young Philadelphia Union netminder basically got away with what could be fairly characterized as a seemingly-lackadaisical effort that saw the ball drop down dangerously just wide of the post.
Just before the end of the first half, MacMath made a complete mess of the cross from Portland Timbers’ Jamaica international midfielder LOVEL PALMER. First of all, the goalkeeper in this situation is under absolutely no pressure from any player whatsoever and would be expected to catch this ball cleanly from the perspective of a European professional coach. Perhaps even more tragically, MacMath could not even be bothered to make the fundamental fist and punch the ball away properly.
Meanwhile, the first Portland Timbers goal conceded by the youthful MacMath was, for all the excuse-making chatter revolving around the wet weather, etc., really nothing more than a spectacular schoolboy error. A simple failure to not keep the body effectively in between the ball and the goal line. It really is as easy as that sometimes — end of story.
Hopefully for the sake of trainer PIOTR NOWAK’s Major League Soccer club, the young goalkeeper will step up his game in between the sticks at scenic PPL Park this afternoon when the Philadelphia Union take the pitch to face the formidable Colorado Rapids at the foot of the Commodore Barry Bridge on the banks of the Delaware River.