TAMPA, Fla. – Birmingham Legion FC’s Matt VanOekel has earned the USL Championship’s Fans’ Choice Save of the Month award for June as his key late save that preserved a big in-division victory against FC Tulsa claimed top spot in the online poll conducted over the past weekend.
VanOekel has been a fixture in goal for Legion FC over its first three seasons and this year is having a standout campaign, sitting tied for the league-lead with five shutouts this season. The 34-year-old produced a brilliant late save to earn Birmingham a 2-1 victory against Central Division rival on June 6, keeping out a free kick by Dario Suarez that was pegged for the top-left corner of the net.
VanOekel’s save earned 58 percent of the poll conducted at USLChampionship.com, finishing ahead of Loudoun United FC’s Jermaine Fordah, who took 23 percent for his point-blank save on Hartford Athletic’s Preston Tabort Etaka on June 19. Memphis 901 FC’s Mark Segbers finished third on 15 percent for his late save as an emergency goalkeeper that helped the hosts hold onto victory against Atlanta United 2 on June 16.