Commerce City, Colo. - It took nearly four years, but Stew Ceus has finally entered the official MLS record book.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper made his MLS debut on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes when he replaced the injured Matt Pickens in the 69' of the 4-1 home loss.
"It definitely feels really good to get a chance to play, and to get on the field for the first time after about three and a half years of working hard and trying to work for a spot," Ceus said afterwards. "I’ve prepared mentally and physically for the last couple years, and if the call comes my way, I’m ready to play."
The 6' 6" keeper was drafted by the Rapids in third round (37th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Albany.
Since then has participated in many Reserve team matches, and also appeared in two U.S. Open Cup matches (2010 Qualifer, 2012 at Tampa) and in five CONCACAF Champions League matches last year. However, aside from serving as a backup to Pickens the last two years, he had never played in an MLS match.
Down 3-0 when he entered, Ceus surrendered the final goal of MLS MVP-candidate Chris Wondolowski's hat trick on the night.
"Wondo’s an avid goalscorer" he said. "That’s what he does, he scores goals, and he gets a 1v1 chance, there’s a really good chance of him scoring. It’s not the way I wanted to come in, but I tip my hat to him, he finished his chance."
Born in New York to Haitian parents, Ceus has also represented Haiti seven times at the international level, including the early stages of 2014 World Cup Qualifying.
When Pickens strained his left groin and had to come out, it marked the end of a streak of 6,729 consecutive minutes played in regular season games dating back to 2010. The fans at the stadium Saturday night gave a both players a nice ovation when the switch was made.
"It’s good to know that people are excited to see me get on, and are appreciative of what Matt does on a constant basis," Ceus said. "It was a great reception coming in, and knowing that people were excited to see me play."
Was Wondolowski offside on this goal?