Talking Philly Union, young goalkeepers and tricky spots
There’s so much irony in the following quote, Alanis Morissette may just need to go back and add it into her noted irony song from a few years back.
This is from young Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath following last night’s loss at home to Chicago:
That playoff thing: that is probably a bridge too far. As best I can figure the club would need to win 7 of its final 13 at very minimum, with a few ties in there too, even for a chance.
Here’s the irony: If little shards of a playoff chance remain lying around on the PPL grounds, they might need to rustle up an experience goalkeeper and make a change in net. Because MacMath, 20, keeps making errors that cost points.
Two of the Chicago Fire strikes Sunday were squarely on him. MacMath came for one cross and didn’t get there, leaving the goal exposed. And he somehow managed to jump out of the way on Chris Rolfe’s second goal. (MacMath anticipated Rolfe going to the far post; it didn’t work out so well for him.)
So, what does Hackworth do? Because it gets tricky.
As Hackworth took over for Peter Nowak, one of his first aims was to reconstruct some of the confidence in young players that had been gradually siphoned away under Nowak, a noted old-school hard-ass.
In a conversation I had a week ago with Hackworth (You can listen to it here, it’s the second interview on the show), we talked about rebuilding the self-belief in impressionable players like Jack MacInerney and MacMath, about empowering them by relieving the fear of making mistakes. Said Hackworth:
Which is all great. I truly appreciate that about Hackworth, and I believe he’s squarely on the right track. So long, that is, as he’s willing to concede the 2012 playoff fight, especially as it relates to his young goalkeeper. Here’s what he had to say about MacMath: