One of the many new faces on Sounders FC’s roster, forward Chad Barrett wanted to endear himself to fans at CenturyLink Field.
There’s no better way to do that than scoring a winning-goal in stoppage time on your debut as Barrett did. His strike in the game’s dying moments clinched a 1-0 victory over the reigning MLS Cup champions, Sporting Kansas City, on Saturday afternoon.
“I want to get on their good side as fast as possible,” Barrett said after the game. “I had some bad crosses before that, but I think that’s all forgiven now.”
Barrett’s 94th minute winner came after midfielder Clint Dempsey couldn’t make solid contact on the rebound of his header, which hit Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg’s crossbar. The ball fell to Barrett, who let instincts kick in.
“Don’t think, just shoot,” Barrett said. “I put myself in front of the goal. Dempsey was unfortunate to miss the first time. The ball came right back to him. (Sporting midfielder Lawrence) Olum came back and he tried to not let Dempsey get a clean one on it, and (the ball came) right to me. I’m calling that one the ‘white guy’s bicycle kick.’”
After a season with the New England Revolution in 2013, Barrett was acquired by the Sounders through the second stage of MLS Re-Entry Draft in January. He has played in the MLS since 2005 when his career started with the Chicago Fire.
In 2005, Barrett played for head coach Sigi Schmid on the U.S. under-20 national team, and he has to take advantage of the opportunities given to him by Schmid.
“Whether there’s 15 minutes or 90 minutes, you have to go out there and you got to catch up with the game real quick,” Barrett said. “I thought I did that, and came in and was in the right spot when I needed to be.”
Barrett’s first experience playing at home in Seattle was a memorable one. He was impressed with the fan’s celebration of the club’s 40th anniversary season before kickoff, as well as the reaction to his goal.
“It’s so loud,” Barrett said. “When I scored, I couldn’t even hear myself screaming. I’m pretty sure I was screaming or I was going through puberty, one of the two.”
Clearly excited about the opportunity to play in Seattle, Barrett hopes the Sounders can continue the success seen in CenturyLink Field that was started by the Seahawks. He referred to Saturday’s crowd as the “12th man,” and says the Super Bowl champions put pressure on the Sounders through their achievements.
The 30-year-old Barrett is entering his 10th season in MLS and thinks he has a good gauge on the potential of this season’s team.
“I’m a newcomer on this team, but I’m not in this league,” Barrett said. “I’ve played on good teams and bad teams before, and this is a great team. We’re going to fight like that until the end every time, especially like that here at home.”