So, here's a quick Monday morning look-back to Luiz Camargo's equalizer at Gillette Stadium this past weekend. Take a good look at that goal and how it works.
The ball begins with another New England repulsion of a Houston Dynamo attack, which at that point were kind of coming in waves. Stephen McCarthy collects the ball and passes it to Chris Tierney, who then proceeds to head it weakly to the center of the pitch, resulting in a giveaway in New England's own half. Now, we all remember from playing at RFK Stadium two weeks ago what can happen when a team gives away the ball in its own half. Bad things happened to us then, but good things happened to Dynamo this time.
Now much has been written about what happened next, with a lot of focus on Brian Ching's sublime floater over the defense to Camargo, but that assist was really just the penultimate move in a pretty sequence both on and off the ball. After the aforementioned awful, but fortuitous, clearance, Colin Clark runs onto the ball, and in the air niftily dinks it at a 90 degree angle away from the motion of his own flying form to a waiting Camargo. The Brazilian then starts a give and go with the Captain, who hesitates on the ball for just a split second.
That hesitation accomplishes three things. One, it gives Will Bruin, who had already scored and was drawing the New England defense's undivided attention, the chance to make what would be a dummy run right down Route 1 from the right in front of Ching. Secondly, when he does this, the New England right back, Darrius Barnes, scoots inward to help out on Bruin's run. And thirdly, Matt Reis, seeing the play in front of him, also sees Bruin coming into the area and is over on that side of the goal. Also, who else is filling the right side of the box with a huge amount of open space? None other than the man who started all of this, Colin Clark. In tandem, Bruin and the late-arriving Clark act as a magnet, pulling the New England defense out of shape, and more importantly, Reis over to our right, his left.
Ching, with the ball at his feet and with a split second to decide what to do, sees the space opening up where just a second before Barnes had been, uses the time to switch the ball from his left foot to his right, and makes his move.
Look at the arc of the ball as it floats up and over Barnes' head to the left foot of a waiting Camargo. Barnes misses it just barely. If Ching had not hesitated, then Bruin would not have started his dummy run, and Clark would not have had time to to make Reis think "left." If Bruin had not drawn Barnes out of position, Camargo would not have had the space to receive the ball, and if Clark had not put the finishing touches on the whole thing with his presence, then Reis would have been already in position to save Camargo's shot.
So, in short, the goal was Camargo's and the assist was Ching's, but the score was the result of the team filling their slots and performing their roles. It was a magnificent display of team football.
UPDATE: And now he can say obrigado to you, and you, and you, and you. Camargo's strike has been nominated for MLS Goal of the Week. Click here to vote. And if you have any questions, and want to be all fair and such, check out this video here, and THEN go vote for Luiz. Remember, vote early, vote often.