If you’ve ever watched Zac Lubin play, it wouldn’t take you long to realize he comes from a long-line of Washingtonian goalkeepers. While Lubin developed as a soccer player in Bozeman, Montana, after choosing soccer as his primary sport, over hockey, his goalkeeper development can be traced back to his time spent in Washington state.
After a stellar high school career in Bozeman, Lubin signed his letter of intent to play at St. Martins University in Lacey, Washington. Lubin joined the Saints squad in the team’s first year of existence, it did not take long for the team to become a force in the GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference). By Lubin’s junior year, the team had risen from a first-year program to a playoff team. Despite a disappointing senior year, in which the team underwhelmed as a whole, the Saint Martin’s men’s soccer program, had developed into a respected program, in large part due to Lubin’s career 2.17 goals against average.
With his college career behind him, Lubin began to ask himself whether he even wanted to continue his soccer career. That all changed when he received a call from the Kitsap Pumas, a Premier Development League (PDL) club out of Bremerton, Washington (the Pumas currently compete in the National Premier Soccer League). After a strong season with Kitsap, in which Lubin made 18 appearances, he elected to make the move to the Seattle Sounders U-23 team, a move that would ultimately define his professional soccer career.
While Zac only made 9 appearances for the Seattle Sounders U-23 squad, his experience training with the Sounders first team was invaluable. While with the Sounders, Zac was able to train with Washingtonian goalkeeping legends, Kasey Keller and Marcus Hahnemann. Keller grew up playing in Olympia, Washington, just miles away from the campus of St. Martins, while Hahnemann made a name for himself playing at Seattle Pacific University. By the time Zac met both players with the Sounders, both had made names for themselves playing in the English Premier League. For Lubin, the learning experience was incredible.
By the time Lubin left the Sounders, he was ready to make the jump to professional soccer, and began his career internationally, at IFK Luleå, in the Swedish first division. In his first season as a professional, Lubin displayed incredible quickness on collapse dives for a tall goalkeeper (Lubin is 6 ft 5 in), an exceptional ability to claim balls in the air, and a knack for acrobatic saves. With Luleå, Lubin cemented himself as one of the most consistent goalkeepers in Sweden, while making 20 appearances for the first team. With a numerous international offers available, Zac chose to pursue his dream of being a professional in the country in which he grew up.
The following two seasons, Zac spent playing back in the United States with USL clubs Tulsa Roughnecks and Swope Park Rangers. After a brief stint in Tulsa, Zac chose to sign with the Kansas City based Rangers. With championship aspirations in their inaugural season, the Rangers viewed Zac as a reliable shotblocker, with incredible upside. Zac helped guide the Rangers to a second place finish in the USL, during their inaugural campaign, while making 10 appearances.
With a thirst for a chance at a starting position, Lubin chose to return to Sweden, where he had previously established himself as a quality starter, through his time with IFK Luleå. Lubin signed with Swedish first division club Ljungskile SK. Lubin spent the season with Ljungskile SK, and proved again that he was a game-changing shot blocker within the highest level of Swedish football. With another season of starting experience under his belt, Zac finally got the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to sign with the most high profile up and coming club in American soccer, Phoenix Rising FC.
In just under a year with Phoenix, Zac has predominantly operated as the club’s primary backup goalkeeper. Proving to be a consummate pro, Zac has enjoyed playing alongside some of the game’s biggest stars, such as Omar Bravo, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba. In June of 2018, Zac achieved a dream of his, as he was loaned to his hometown Seattle Sounders for their match against the Portland Timbers. Zac never lost sight of his dream of playing for an MLS squad, and fittingly he did so where it all began…