James Riley‘s impact on games certainly isn’t measured by his goal scoring, but the Sounders FC defender had been shut out of nearly two full seasons with Seattle entering last year’s regular-season finale in Houston.
Then, in the first half of a 2-1 loss, he unleashed this MLS Goal of the Week winner (embedded below).
Almost exactly one year later, I asked him what he remembers about his only goal as a Sounder heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale at Chivas USA.
“The ball just bounced out to me — I’d been working on shooting for a couple weeks prior in practice — and I was able to get a good look, connected well and luckily it went in,” he said.
Then, jokingly, “hopefully one of those blackout episodes happen again.”
Riley’s only other MLS goal came in 2005, his rookie season in New England. That one was memorable as well. His 85th-minute goal gave the Revolution a 1-0 win against the MetroStars and clinched a playoff berth.
“That was fun,” he recalled. “What was it? Me to Noonan, Noonan to Twellman, Twellman back to me, and I kind of beat someone to the ball. It was a great, great goal.”
So is he itching for another goal to get him on the board for 2011?
“I’m itching just for a win to end the regular season against a very good team,” Riley said. “Obviously a goal and assist would be a highlight, but at the same time, individually and as a team, we’re just looking for a good, full game to go into the playoffs.”
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