The story of Brandon Barklage’s night at Red Bull Arena is a powerful one of perseverance and weapons-grade emotion.
To come through two major injuries with one club, then to be cut by that organization, and then to score your first two MLS goals when you line up against that team – it really is all too much. (Not that there’s any blame for D.C. United, who released the defender-midfielder after last season; it’s a business decision, and the same happens every day around professional sports.)
Here’s what D.C. United manager Ben Olsen said about his former player: “I’m happy for Brandon Barklage. He had two ACL [injuries] in D.C., but he always came to work every day and worked his tail off. It stings that [his two goals Sunday] come against us, but I’m none the less happy for him.”
And here’s what Barklage’s teammate, the difficult-to-impress Thierry Henry, said about it all: “What an example. The guy in the beginning wasn’t a starter. And at the end, like I always said, when you work hard you always get what you deserve. I was really happy for him, especially cause he used to play for them (D.C. United) before. I don’t say it quite often, I’m more critical usually, but this is a guy that works very hard. Hopefully he is going to have a great career.”
And here’s what the man himself says about it. (We can only assume that his shirt was ripped away by a gaggle of shrieking young women, Beatle-style.)
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