Exclusive: Checking In With Goalkeeper Byron Foss

Exclusive to ColoradoRapids.com - ColoradoRapids.com took time to sit down with Rapids goalkeeper Byron Foss upon his return to Colorado this week after having been on loan with the Syracuse Salty Dogs of the A-League where he shone between the pipes during almost all of the ’04 A-League season.

Signed as a developmental player by the Rapids in March 2003 Foss did not play in any MLS matches in 2003 and was projected to be the third-string keeper behind Joe Cannon and Scott Vallow this year which created the opportunity for the Rapids to loan him out to play with the Salty Dogs.

In Syracuse Foss became head coach Laurie Calloway’s top choice keeper about a third of the way through the season after shaking off a series of nagging injuries. He proceeded to start and appear in 21 games compiling a 12-6-2 record with five shutouts to help lead the Salty Dogs into the postseason for the first time ever.

In the playoffs Foss started all four of Syracuse’s postseason matches allowing five goals as his squad reached the Eastern Conference finals before falling to the eventual A-League Champion Montreal Impact. To reach the conference finals Foss and the Salty Dogs had to overcome the favored Richmond Kickers in Richmond on penalty kicks.

With the score tied 4-4 and their season on the line Foss saved back-to-back penalties in the fifth and sixth rounds of PK’s. In between the two saves Foss himself stepped up to score the game-winning spot kick sending Syracuse to the Eastern finals.

Here is the transcript of Byron’s interview with ColoradoRapids.com:

ColoradoRapids.Com - How did the Syracuse opportunity come up for you?

Byron Foss - "It came up because Tim Hankinson saw me as the #3 ‘keeper for the Rapids at the beginning of preseason and we thought it was good for me to get some games in this year so the Rapids worked out the deal with Syracuse. It was a great experience the team did well and individually I did well so everything worked out for the best."

CR - About a 1/3 of the way through Syracuse’s season you became the #1 Goalkeeper for Syracuse. How much confidence does that give you coming back here to the Rapids?

Foss - "A lot you know. Confidence-wise starting and playing every game over 20 games and being a leader on your team it gives you a lot of confidence coming back here. You want to come back here and show well for Tim and the Rapids coaches and try and win the #2 keeper spot by the end of the year and then go from there."

CR – It’s the A-League Eastern Conference SemiFinals you guys are tied with Richmond and the game goes to Penalty Kicks to decide the winner. You make two consecutive saves and score the game-winning penalty kick yourself in-between them. Describe what that was like.

Foss - "It’s something that will probably never happen again in my playing career. I asked guys who have been playing for 25 years and they say they’ve never seen anything like that. So it was unbelievable."

CR - Is that the most meaningful goal you’ve ever scored?

Foss – (Laughs) "Yes yes it is. Definitely."