In a lot of ways, Davy Arnaud is Major League Soccer.
No, he doesn’t make David Beckham money. He doesn’t have Thierry Henry’s resume or Dwayne De Rosario’s enviable ability to tear a game open at any moment. Not quite, anyway.
But the man has put in the work, now in his 11th MLS year. He was there in 2002 when the “Major” in Major League Soccer was a bit of stretch if we’re honest, with just 10 teams in the field. (There’s 10 in the Eastern Conference alone, now.) Arnaud has been a steady-eddy the whole while, usually turning up in the 5-, 6- or 7-goal range. That’s a darn solid range for midfielders. He grabbed a cup of strong coffee here and there with the national team or MLS All-Star outfits.
Arnaud isn’t building mansions with his money, but he can probably afford a modest vacation home on a base of $250,000 last year, having steadily upped the yearly earnings through quality work and upstanding citizenship. Again, not the wow-wow superstar that has marketing mavens falling over. But aren’t guys like this are the very backbone of MLS?
He sas certainly a central figure yesterday, striking historically in Montreal’s 1-1 draw with Chicago inside a buzzing, packed and joyous Rogers Centre.
So, here’s an “atta boy” to a guy who puts in the shifts, who punches the doggone MLS clock day in and day out, who works overtime when asked and probably even picks up doughnuts for the entire department now and again – or whatever professional soccer’s equivalent is.
He patrolled midfield in Kansas City all those years. Now he’s in Montreal, proudly wearing the Impact captain’s armband, no less. And Arnaud turned up a colossal moment yesterday, one Impact fans will toast for years. He joins a short list of men who can say: “I scored the first goal for that franchise. Ever.”
Watch the outpouring of emotion from Arnaud, teammates and the record crowd as the man makes history.