There are very few players that have scored a goal, provided an assist, and saved a free kick. On Friday, Brian White did.
Brian White’s strange night
Stories this strange usually start with the words, “It was a dark and stormy night.” But that wasn’t the case Friday night. So let’s try this:
It was a beautiful, clear night. The New York Red Bulls II sat on a five goal lead against the Richmond Kickers. The aforementioned Brian White played a pivotal role in two of the five goals scored that evening. In the first half, White set up Amando Moreno with a neat pass from the top of the box.
Then in the second half, White tapped in a cross from Andrew Tinari to score his seventh goal of the season. The Red Bulls were cruising, and still, nothing seemed off. Things were about to come crashing down in a way that no one could anticipate.
The Kickers would not go quietly, and they pulled one goal back in the 76th minute. Almost immediately after scoring, the Kickers drew a yellow card foul from goalkeeper Evan Louro. Louro drew a yellow card for dissent earlier in the second half. A second yellow card meant Louro was ejected. The Red Bulls had already used all of their substitutes. A field player was going to be called upon to take Louro’s place in goal.
Up stepped Brian White.
A weird situation
“It’s a weird situation. Hopefully we don’t find ourselves in it again,”, said White after the match. “I heard from the coaching staff that they called me to put on the jersey and get in goal. So I got in there and did the best I could. I was happy to keep a clean sheet.”
White managed to keep the Kickers out, though admittedly did not face a lot of opposition from the Kickers. White never looked lost. Instead he showed strength and athleticism clarifying why the coaches thrust White into the unfamiliar position.
“Usually you just look for one of your more athletic guys,” said coach John Wolyniec after the match. “I wanted to keep Hassan and Jordan to give us stability in the back. Tom is a little fresher, so we figured he would be able to run. We always thought about using Tom in that scenario, but Brian is really athletic. He’s brave, and strong, and all of those things.”
It was an unusual match from the first minute. Jared Stroud opened the scoring on the night with a goalkeeper clearance that ricochetted off of his face and into the back of the net. It was only fitting that it was Friday the 13th.
Luckily, the Red Bulls held on for an important win. For White, he learned a valuable lesson.
“You gain a little bit more respect for goalies.” said a relieved White after the match. “…Probably never going to do it again.”
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography