Hang on...I need to watch this again.
Barely twenty-four hours ago that happened, and New England Revolution fans are still buzzing about that goal. And they should be, for the first time since 2007 the Revs are heading back to MLS Cup and will face the winner of the Los Angeles Galaxy - Seattle Sounders series whose second leg kicks off later tonight.
But that game-tying, series-clinching goal that Charlie Davies scored? That's the most New England goal ever. Don't believe me?
Second year Homegrown Player Scott Caldwell from Weymouth, Mass. recovers the ball following a blocked shot in the middle of the field and carries forward. He then passes to Chris Tierney, a 2008 Supplemental Draft pick and Boston native and currently the club's longest tenured player. Tierney started that entire sequence with a cross into the box that Luis Robles and the New York Red Bulls defense failed to clear, but after getting the ball back on the left wing he crosses it into the box for the third attack of the possession. That's where Charlie Davies, a Manchester, N.H. native and former All-American at Boston College, is lurking among the disorganized Red Bull defense and calmly heads the ball back across the goal and into the net.
Davies' path back to MLS is well known among to not only Revolution fans, but around the country as well as the Revs striker is nominated as one of three finalists for the league's Comeback Player of the Year award. And while Davies was also nominated for the award in 2011 playing with D.C. United on loan from French club Sochaux and recovering from a terrible car accident, it seems he's found a permanent home in New England with the Revolution, adding another local product to an already staggering list of domestic based players.
That's the hidden beauty of this goal that only soccer fans in New England might realize. That the game winning goal was set up by three of their own, during a multi-year process that started six years ago when the Steve Nicol era was entering its twilight. The Revs roster is stacked with mostly young, American talent that has been stockpiled over the years with SuperDraft picks, waiver wire pickups, trades and other roster moves. And it's been happening for years, culminated in a goal in which three players with distinct local ties contributed too.
When Chris Tierney was drafted by the Revolution in 2008, Scott Caldwell was a high school student, US Youth Resident member and the first Revs academy captain and Charlie Davies would score his first goal for the United States Men's National Team in October against Trinidad and Tobago in a 2010 World Cup Qualifier. Six years later, after Tierney's club suffered several years of playoff failures and then lackluster results, and almost a complete roster turnover, a homegrown player and a local legend in the midst of a career rebirth helped the Revs get back to MLS Cup for the first time in Tierney's tenure with the team. Tierney joined the Revs the season after it's last MLS Cup Final appearance in 2007, so it will be his first Finals appearance as well.
But that goal, that beautiful series clinching goal that has the Revs for the fifth time in their history one win away from MLS Cup, will go down in Revolution lore as one of the best. Not because it beat the rival Red Bulls or capped an deserved 2014 season with a trip to the Final.
But because it was three New Englanders that led the way.