Last month experienced goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel signed for Major League Soccer side, Real Salt Lake. 

The 30-year-old earned his move after an impressive season with NASL side, FC Edmonton.

at James M. Shuart Stadium on August 23, 2014 in Hempstead, New York.
Matt Van Oekel has moved to MLS side, Real Salt Lake.

Van Oekel started his professional career with Minnesota Thunder in 2008 before they dissolved in 2009. The goalkeeper then went on to play for fellow Minnesota based sides: The Stars, and then United until the 2014 season.

2015 saw Van Oekel move to NASL side, FC Edmonton where he impressed leading to him being named 2016 NASL Goalkeeper of the Year.

With the 2017 MLS season kicking off in March, Van Oekel has plenty of time to settle in at The Rio Tinto Stadium.

at MCU Park on May 10, 2015 in New York, New York.
Matt Van Oekel in action for FC Edmonton

When speaking to ElWriteBack about how the move came about, Van Oekel said: “This move came by some good luck. That’s all I can really say about the move at this time.

“Real Salt Lake contacted me after the expansion draft and that was all I wanted, then we signed contracts a few days later.”

The former Minnesota Thunder player went on to speak about playing in the MLS: “Finally getting on an MLS team is a dream come true and the product of years of hard work.

“I couldn’t be more excited about making the move to the top flight in American soccer.”

Van Oekel continued by speaking about leaving NASL side FC Edmonton, who finished third place at the end of the 2016 season: “I went to Edmonton to better myself as a professional goalkeeper and I did that.

“I improved in all aspects of my game during my two years there. I wanted to win a Championship with them last year but we fell a bit short.

“Looking back at the season and finishing third overall I think is a great achievement.

“We had a good group of players and everyone contributed to the season. I’ll look back at the 2016 season as a great positive in my career.

“Moving clubs is part of the game and my family and I will miss our friends from there.”

Matt Van Oekel was a key player in FC Edmonton’s side last season.

With the MLS regular season getting underway in a few months’ time, Van Oekel spoke of his ambitions with his new side: “As a Real Salt Lake player my ambitions are as most players in the world and that is to contribute to the team in whatever way possible to help the team succeed.

“If that involves me making my MLS debut in 2017 that would be fantastic. I’m excited to keep bettering myself as a goalkeeper and progressing my career to new heights and I know that will happen being at Real Salt Lake.”

Matt Van Oekel playing against Swansea.

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