I can't imagine what it must feel like to pour your heart and soul into 120 minutes of soccer and lose. Especially after a grueling 34-match, eight-month regular season, and then four brutally-physical playoff matches over the course of another month.
I can, however, imagine that I would at least be frustrated as those final moments slipped away, staring defeat right in the face. Clearly, A.J. Soares felt the same way when the New England Revolution defender attempted to help LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo up off the ground while the latter was wasting a bit of time.
GIF: Revs player helps up injured goalte- oh, wait…never mind. pic.twitter.com/Juql3sw0RT— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 7, 2014
That had to feel awesome for Soares. Let's break it down.
First A.J. is engaging in a classic anti-time-wasting maneuver. The keeper is on the floor, rubbing his knee and taking his time, so Soares decides to be a good sport and start helping him up.
Watch Penedo as Soares lifts him. The guy goes all dead fish and stays in a crane kick stance the whole way up. It must have been maddening for Soares to be trying to help this guy to his feet with that same guy resisting the whole way up.
So finally, A.J. gets Penedo to the apex, and there he is, still standing on one leg like a sleeping flamingo, appearing to rely on Soares for balance when he clearly doesn't have to.
A.J. Soares was having none of it. Thus, the shove.
Was it a little petulant? Sure. But it was also a great way of saying "you're fine, bro, and you know you're fine. Now I'm going to make you look ridiculous by letting you fall flat on your face because you refuse to put your foot on the ground."
And that's A.J. Soares - always a gentleman, until it's time to not be a gentleman.