Legion FC keeper earns his donuts with shutouts

Lunch with Lynden: Matt Van Oekel tries Son's Donuts
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 4:21 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:04 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Legion FC Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel has been in Birmingham since the beginning. He’s very intense on the pitch, but has quite the happy face around donuts!

To find out why he brings the delightful dough to the team, WBRC went with him to Sons Donuts in Avondale.

VanOekel is known around Legion FC as the donut king. Every time the Legion earns a shut out, VanOekel treats the team to donuts.

“It’s not just the goalkeeper making saves, it’s the whole team. I think that’s what makes it more fun - we get to celebrate with the donuts together,” VanOekel said.

And come on... who couldn’t use these flavorful bites as motivation?

“I think about that from minute one, I’m thinking ‘oh, I want my sprinkle donuts on Monday morning,” VanOekel said.

Donuts are now how his two kids measure the Legion’s success!

“They’re immediately like ‘we get donuts’, not good job, congrats dad, it’s ‘we get donuts’,” VanOekel said.

No need to sugar coat it, the donuts seem to be working! VanOekel leads the league with 10 shutouts!

“I am really happy this didn’t start till later in my career, because I don’t know if I would have had as long of a career if I started eating donuts early in my career,” VanOekel said.

A career in donut tasting could be in Van Oekel’s future, but for now, the keeper is dedicated to more shutouts for the ‘Black and Gold!”

“Hopefully I can continue to play as long as I possibly think I can,” Van Oekel said.

Legion FC are back in Protective Saturday night against Landon Donovan and his San Diego Loyal SC.


Subscribe to our WBRC newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email.

Copyright 2022 WBRC. All rights reserved.