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Philadelpia goalkeeper Zac MacMath to train at Everton

Nov 5, 2012, 10:05 AM EDT

Columbus Crew v Philadelphia Union Getty Images

It’s an interesting time for the U.S. national team’s depth chart.

At the tippy-top, there’s Tim Howard and then everyone else. Brad Guzan, starting now at Aston Villa, is closing that “everyone else” gap, but he’s been tested internationally precious little.

Nick Rimando, third man in the U.S. goalkeeping pile, is showing he can still deliver the gloved goods; did you see what Real Salt Lake’s veteran backstopper did to pool ol’ Seattle last week?

(MORE: Nick Rimando’s big Friday doings in Seattle)

But the interesting thing about the current pool is the bottom end, where the American pool is stacked with promising young ‘keepers – with a fairly major emphasis on the “young.”

There’s Bill Hamid at D.C. United and Sean Johnson at Chicago, who have a head start on some others in the apprentice department. They’ve been called regularly into U.S. camps and both were members of the U.S. under-23 team that bombed out of Olympic competition.

Ryan Meara was having an outstanding year at Red Bull Arena before injury prematurely chopped down his eye-opening rookie season.

And then there’s Zac MacMath (pictured), the young Philadelphia shot-stopper who weebled and wobbled in his 2011 rookie campaign, but never fell completely down. Good thing, too, because his sophomore season finished pretty well, and today comes news from Soccer By Ives that MacMath is about to leave for a three-week training spell at Everton.

This is important for several reasons, not least of which is this one:

MacMath has some catching up to do, since Hamid and Johnson are clearly swimming ahead in the U.S. depth pool. But these are the training spells that Jurgen Klinsmann encourages in the U.S. players – so this surely will not go unnoticed by the U.S. manager.

  1. whordy - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Probably the best thing for him, since he is pretty much the distant third in the U23 GK department, is that the two players ahead of him haven’t done much to cement their future.
    While MacMath has clearly had ups and downs, and made plenty of visible mistakes this year – so have Johnson and Hamid. We were reminded of this fact recently when Hamid was kind enough to punch the ball into his own net over the weekend. I also remember Johnson passing the ball to the other team earlier this year too. If you want to be picky, at least MacMaths issues are the mostly experience-based problem of commanding his box and deciding when to come out or not.

    • eatcheson - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      And that’s part of having multiple young players at a position as a national team coach–you don’t need every single one of them to pan out. If one of MacMath/Hamid/Johnson stagnates, from a USMNT perspective, that’s not a body blow because the other two could keep developing (plus, since they’re keepers, none of them are likely to hit their peak for several more years). And that’s to say nothing of our young keepers over in Europe–Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Cody Cropper.

  2. bishopofblunder - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    I like Johnson, but he can commit some real howlers when it comes to positioning. Hamid seems more solid, not as flashy as Johnson. I haven’t seen enough of MacMath to form an opinion. But I gotta like any guy with “Math” in his name.

    Hopefully, this training spell will lead to more opportunities for the lad.

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