Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath has underlined the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as young fans get set to measure themselves against the stopper’s towering frame – courtesy of a special game day giveaway.
The first 5,000 children under the age of 15 through the gates at PPL Park when the Union take on the Houston Dynamo this Sunday ( 4 p.m. ET) will each receive a special life-size growth chart, enabling them to compare their height to Zac's in his unmistakable orange goalkeeper kit.
The 21 year-old admits his height and build determined that he would always become a natural goalkeeper, but he added that a healthy lifestyle – and playing lots of soccer – are key to growing to become a fit and healthy professional player.
“I was always a bigger kid growing up and always had the biggest size so I think goalkeeper worked out best for me,” MacMath told philadelphiaunion.com. “My dad had a big effect on me becoming a goalkeeper. I played a bunch of different positions to see what I did best at and obviously it stuck for me. I just liked playing soccer in general and wanted to be everywhere on the field. I even played central defender for a little while and I think that helped me a lot as a goalkeeper."
MacMath delved even further into just important the proper diet played a role in his success.
“My height and build have been really important. I’m one of the biggest guys on the team and have to cover a lot of ground in the goal so eating healthy has been and is a big factor," he continued. "I drank a lot of milk as a kid and that’s probably helped me to have a good size too. "As a kid, it’s hard to grasp just how important a diet is to how you grow and to how you play. I think the earlier you realize the effect, the better. You come to understand that you can’t just eat everything that you really want to and that eating your greens and things like lean chicken has a big impact.”
The growth chart is part of an ongoing partnership between the club and health organizations Crozer-Keystone and Premier Orthopaedics, who are presenting tomorrow’s MLS clash.
Staff will be on hand at the gates to distribute the exclusive Zac MacMath growth chart – which even has its own commercial starring Zac, Antoine Hoppenot and coach John Hackworth!
“I think the growth chart is awesome,” MacMath added. “It’s something I’d have loved to have had as a kid and I hope a lot of kids use it. The commercial was really fun. I think Antoine and coach Hackworth did a good job with their acting debuts and we had a great time doing it!”
To reserve tickets for the Union v Houston Dynamo, called 1-877-21-UNION or visit www.philadelphiaunion.com/tickets.