HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake is one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer right now, having won three straight games and moving up to third place in the Western Conference Standings.

While the offense has picked it up of late, scoring seven goals in its last three games, the play of goalkeeper Zac MacMath has been instrumental as well.

But MacMath wasn’t even supposed to be the starter headed into the season.

David Ochoa had an outstanding 2021 season, and was slated to be RSL’s starting goalkeeper once again this year. But an injury in the final week of preseason forced MacMath into action.

“I was prepared to backup David,” MacMath said. “But once that injury happened in that last preseason game, that focus shifted to being the starter and making the most of it.”

MacMath has definitely made the most of it. He has already recorded five shutouts so far this year, making several spectacular saves in the process.

“I think it’s more so about being in the right place at the right time and having the right reaction,” said MacMath, who made four saves in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Houston. “I think on a couple of those saves this weekend, it was a matter of getting my feet set, getting them moving and able to get a good push. That’s all about just seeing the ball well, and obviously I’ve been doing that over the last couple of games. I’ve got a lot of guys around me and the coaching staff who have given me the confidence to go out and do what I do best.”

Things really started to click after a 6-0 shellacking at New York City FC. Since then, MacMath has allowed just four goals in the last six games. You don’t need to be a MacMath expert to figure out why RSL is 4-1-1 during that stretch.

“I think when you take a loss like we did in New York, it is almost easier to swallow than the tough Kansas City loss, where we we outplayed Kansas City and lost 1-0,” he said. “We buckled down defensively, and that helped us gain confidence our ability to keep a shutout. Now, the last three games, there’s a clear way that we want to play, and everyone is on board.”

After starting 13 games in his first two seasons with RSL, MacMath already has 14 starts under his belt in 22. He has 167 career MLS starts with RSL, Vancouver, Colorado and Philadelphia.

The way MacMath is playing, it appears as though the starting job is now his to lose the rest of the rest of the way.

“I’m trying to stay steady, trying to stay consistent,” MacMath said. “You don’t want to be too confident going into games because sometimes that’s when mistakes happen. I’m trying to slowly keep building the confidence in my play throughout the rest of the season.”

MacMath as RSL take on Vancouver Saturday night at 5:00 p.m.