As soon as news got out about Tim Howard joining the Colorado Rapids, there was little doubt that Zac MacMath was going to lose his starting position. Sure, Pablo Mastroeni likes his guys to work for their playing time, but teams don’t pay big money to sign a big name like Tim Howard to sit him on the bench. After some shaky mistakes in the beginning of the season, MacMath dialed it in and became a goalkeeper worthy of starting on just about any team in MLS. With him in net, the Rapids took off with a 9-2-5 record, and a .69 goals against average (the league’s lowest).
As July 4, 2016 got closer, the excitement around Tim Howard’s arrival grew. MacMath continued to perform, and I thought he had positioned himself as a valuable goalkeeper that the Rapids could easily trade to another team for a nice chunk of change. But then the Rapids waived Chris Froschauer, the third goalkeeper, leaving the team with Tim Howard, Zac MacMath, and John Berner, who is currently loaned out to their USL affiliate, Charlotte Independence. I would have bet money that MacMath wasn’t going anywhere.
But he was hoping otherwise.
MacMath recently told the Denver Post that “there was a team interested. But the Rapids denied that at the last second, which that’s their right, I’m their player.”
Goalkeepers coach Chris Sharpe believes that having two goalkeepers like MacMath and Howard is a good thing. “He’ll [Tim Howard] be wonderful for Zac as far as being a presence, a learning experience for Zac, seeing how Tim is day in and day out. And Zac will be wonderful for Tim because I believe — and you saw it last year with Clint — that you need two very good goalkeepers to push each other day in and day out, and that’s what we have.”
MacMath doesn’t necessarily agree, saying, “we’re two different kind of goalkeepers. He’s very athletic and he’s a lot quicker than I am. And I have to use my positioning more.”
Either way, MacMath will be looking at other options when this season is over, and there are several teams in MLS that could definitely use an upgrade in their goalkeeping position. But until then, he’s going to be sticking out the rest of the season here in Colorado.