HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, September 5, 2023) Real Monarchs and Real Salt Lake Academy midfielder William Mackay has been named the MLS NEXT Pro’s MLS NEXT Rising Star of the Matchday for his performance in the team’s 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps 2
Mackay's performance headlined a nervy 1-0 win over Whitecaps FC 2. Mackay, a 15-year-old Real Salt Lake Academy player made himself the undeniable choice for the Rising Star of the Matchday honor with his performance that kept his side alive for playoff contention for yet another week.
Mackay posted a clean sheet that forced five saves and defied the odds against a 1.19xGA projection. Mackay is the second Real Monarchs player to claim the Rising Star award in 2023, and the third goalkeeper to earn the honor.
Two of those saves came within the span of mere seconds of one another. The youngster was able to have a laugh about it when recollecting his memory of the heroic moment.
"The first ball I went up and contested it and got undercut on my tailbone, I kind of hurt," he said with a laugh. "And then the second one just bounced around, just able to go claim it," The performance marked back-to-back season-saving clean sheets for Mackay.
Real Monarchs travel to Colorado Rapids 2 on September 9 at 7:30pm MT as the MLS NEXT Pro season winds down. Having won two in a row, the Monarchs will look to avenge the 4-1 loss that the Rapids inflicted on them the last time the two sides met. The match will be streamed on MLSNEXTPro.com.