Come on now, who had “Mario Martinez” to score a successful franchise’s most important goal to date?
Sure enough, a little-known, 23-year-old Honduran reservists revealed absolutely perfect technique as he blew something special past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the series decider last night in Utah.
(MORE: analysis of Seattle’s 1-0 win)
Rimando has been on top of his game lately, and it was always going to take something special to slip one past him. Everyone knew that Eddie Johnson or Fredy Montero might have that “something special” in them … but Martinez?
Yes, the Sounders like Martinez and his potential. But the guy spent just 40 minutes of the regular season on the field this year. And yet, today, he has the goal that won Seattle its first MLS playoff series.
Here are the full match highlights, including his 81st minute historic, crackerjack volley.
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.