Three 'firsts' for Smith in win over Portland
Commerce City, Colo. - You would think the smile on Jamie Smith's face following Saturday's match was for one of two reasons: he made his season debut and he scored his first goal of the year 16 minutes after coming on. However, the veteran Scotsman was grinning for another reason.
"My wife and kids were there, and that's actually one of the first times they've seen me score a goal, in person," Smith said afterwards. "Actually, that is the first time in my entire career where my wife and kids have seen me score."
It's been a long road back for the midfielder, who tore the ACL in his right knee in a playoff match last November. He had appeared in a handful of reserves matches before being activated from the disabled list last week prior to the match against San Jose, but didn't come on.
Goal: Smith finished nice play from Rivero, Cascio
"Obviously I was excited about getting involved," Smith said, who replaced Conor Casey in the 73rd minute. "Just to go on the field in any form was great. I enjoyed being back involved, and scoring a goal was great."
The Rapids had a comfortable 2-0 lead when Smith came on and he extended it with his first goal in over a year in the 89th minute. His last goal had been on May 4, 2011, when the Houston goalkeeper misread a 40-yard Smith freekick that went in.
On Saturday, his tally came from a much shorter distance as he finished a nice pass from Tony Cascio on the goal line.
"My first thought was 'please don't miss it,'" he said. "And it was actually harder to miss it than to score. I just had to get some part of my body in front of it. I was a good ball from Martin (Rivero) and great work from Tony."
Smith has established himself more as set-up player than a goal scorer. He has five goals in 47 career games since arriving in Colorado in 2009, and had scored 12 times the previous four years with Aberdeen in Scotland. But until Satuday, his wife Laura and their three kids had yet to him score.
His family has been back and forth from Scotland to the United States during Smith's tenure, but a superstition has also a played a role.
"My wife has this thing where she says she won't come to games because she says I won't score if she does," Smith said, laughing. "I don't know, she can probably explain it better."
With his family now here for good, perhaps a new superstition has begun for the Smiths.