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BALTIMORE – After a year of struggles in goal, bouncing back and forth between keepers, Philadelphia Union took a step forward in 2011 by selecting ‘keeper Zac MacMath fifth overall in the MLS SuperDraft.

MacMath, a three year starter at the University of Maryland, was the highest rated ‘keeper, and one of the highest rated players in the draft, but as with most ‘keepers, there were some questions as to when he would be selected.

Philadelphia took the mystery out of those questions early, though, selecting MacMath with their first pick, the fifth overall. In MacMath, the Union gets a keeper who allowed just 15 goals in 2010, while recording 12 clean sheets.

MacMath is excited with the opportunity to work with manager Peter Nowak, who he has had previously worked with.

 “Coach Peter [Noawk] has a great grasp of the game,” said MacMath after his selection. “He is a great coach.”

While MacMath was enjoying success in 2010, Philadelphia struggled at that position, as Nowak tried to stick it out with a struggling Chris Seitz, before giving the reins to Brad Knighton. Seitz left the team via the re-entry draft at the end of 2010, meaning that MacMath will have ample opportunities to put his imprint on the team early on.

There are rumors that Philadelphia is also looking abroad for another ‘keeper, but that rumor is only a positive for MacMath.

“I’ve heard reports that they are going to sign another keeper,” MacMath stated after his selection. “But I think it’s a great opportunity for me to work with veterans and fight for a spot.”

Whether or not MacMath starts right away remains to be seen, but the opportunity to play for a team that is seemingly on the rise was a perk in being selected for according to the youngster.

“They had a little bit of a rough year,” said MacMath. “But I think they are looking to get better.”

Follow Steven Streff on Twitter @streffsoccer

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