Brad Knighton has been around long enough to know that mistakes happen. So it should come as no surprise that he was able to quickly recover from a mishap that happened on Jul. 7.
In the 9th minute of that game, Toronto FC’s Auro Jr. sent a long ball that left Knighton in a precarious position. Yeferson Soteldo got to the ball first, rounding the goalkeeper before scoring the opening goal. It was a critical moment in a game that the New England Revolution lost 3-2.
“Obviously, not playing a game for over a year, you can throw excuses wherever you want, it was just a mental mistake,” Knighton said. “You see them all over the world. They happen in the [UEFA European Championship], they happen in preseason friendlies, they happen everywhere. It’s just your mindset and how you can bounce back from that.”
Knighton performed well after that mistake and the goals that followed can’t really be placed on him. As a result, it made sense that Knighton would be in net again when the Revs faced Atlanta United ten days later.
The long layoff between games gave Knighton more time to think about the Toronto game. He worked closely with goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock to make sure he was mentally and physically ready.
The work paid off, as Knighton collected five saves to give the Revs their first shutout since May 29. It was a performance that “meant a lot” to the 36-year-old, as well as the team.
“We’ve kind of been leaking goals the last couple weeks, it’s not from one way or the other, it’s just unfortunate circumstances,” Knighton explained. “To bounce back like I did and like the team did on the road in a tough environment, it was great for this team and it showed a lot of character in this team, what we’re all about, and hope to continue moving that forward.”