Tommy McNamara once again found the back of the net for the New England Revolution.
It was the midfielder’s third goal of the season and ironically it gave New England a 3-0 lead over his former club, NYCFC. It was a testament to the type of player McNamara is.
DeJuan Jones sent a ball into the box that seemed destined for no one but McNamara got on his horse and in a prime example of an effort goal, got to the ball and put it past Sean Johnson.
“Just tried in transition to get myself up and involved in the play and make the back post,” McNamara said in the locker room after the win. “As soon as I saw DeJuan [Jones] getting free down the right side, I just put my head down and tried to get myself into the box. He played a great ball, he cut it back, and then just trying to make sure I got to it first and hit it hard and low and thankfully it went in. And it was crucial to get the third goal and to kind of kill the game at that point. It was crucial.”
While McNamara was able to use his physical speed to get to the ball, Bruce Arena talked about the different types of speeds that allow McNamara to be such a talented threat in the attack.
“Great goal,” Arena said. “Great instincts to see there’s a small opening to make that play happen. Great finish. But I always tell the story, it goes back maybe 40 years and trying to learn about coaching, and you talk about speed of players, speed in any sport. Most people assume it’s how fast you can run from point A to point B, but there’s the mental speed and the technical speed. And Tommy [McNamara] is not winning many foot races, but mentally and technically, he’s ahead of the game and he always is in good spots to make plays. That was a clear example of it.”
At 31 years old, the midfielder isn't going to when any sprint races (especially with Dylan Borrero, DeJuan Jones, and Ema Boateng on the roster) but the veteran is able to use his soccer IQ and technical ability to get himself in the right position to make the right play.
Along with Matt Polster, McNamara is among a group of players who don’t seem to get the proper amount of love and admiration around the league. Hopefully, that will change as McNamara has stepped up with New England dealing with a bevy of injuries.
So while not the biggest, fastest, strongest, or youngest player on the pitch, McNamara still has the ability to get the job done and play an important role for the Revolution.