A lot goes down on the pitch in any given match. Each week, we’ll be talking to a player about one specific play from last week’s match and letting them give an inside view of the play as it developed.
This week, we talked with Christian Ramirez about his Goal-of-the-Week-nominated strike from the edge of the box to catch San Jose keeper Andrew Tarbell napping and level the score at 1-1 in the 26th minute. Ramirez explains how even if Tarbell had saved it, it’s a shot that can change Tarbell’s approach and open up other options later in the match.
If you start it from the beginning, it’s a whole buildup because once the right centerback plays the goalie, I try to cut off anything else to make it predictable for Miguel [Ibarra] to get going. And Miguel does the same thing cutting off [Florian] Jungwirth. As I’m heading over there, I take a look over my shoulder to see where the goalie’s at because I see [Shea] Salinas is turned to the sideline and has no way out.
[Salinas] was trying to play it back to Jungwirth, but it looks like Jungwirth thinks he’s going to go up the line, but even further up the play, you have Ibson, who’s tight on the center midfielder, and Eric [Miller]’s tight on the left wing. So [Salinas’] options were completely cut off. His last resort was Jungwirth.
This is what we look at and say this is a positive: how well we can press a team and force a team into a bad error. Not just Miguel’s pressure, not just how I cut off the goalie, but Darwin [Quintero]’s halfway between Jungwirth and [Anibal] Godoy, Ibson’s pressing on the other midfielder and Eric’s up on the left mid. I think we’re all in a good position defensively.
I take a glance and I know he’s in between the 18 and the six-yard box. So immediately when I get it, I know where the goal is based on looking down at the 18-yard box. I can see where I’m placed and where the ball needs to go. I just have to get my feet set: I do like a little hiccup to get my feet right and turn my hips.
I tried [a similar shot] against Houston from a different area and it almost turned out:
It’s something to keep goalies honest. If he gets a touch on it and saves it, now he knows I’m capable of doing that. The next one I can take a touch and find Darwin inside.