Alan Gordon scores big goals, late in games. Often times with his head. When the MLS veteran signed with the Rapids in January, Rapids fans must have quietly hoped they had finally been on the wrong side of a Gordo goal for the last time.
But there Alan Gordon was. Warming up on the touchline. Waiting to replace Kevin Doyle in the 82nd minute of a match in early June. He had yet to tally for his new club, but everyone in the building must have known this moment was exactly why the native Californian was brought to Commerce City. Minutes ticking by. Match tied. Momentum with the home side. Opponent, looking gassed, struggling through a third match in eight days.
Just a few minutes later a beautifully weighted cross from Josh Gatt found a rising Gordon at the far post. He headed it cleanly but just for a moment it looked as if it might not cross the line. And then, it did. Gordon leaving it late ... as he does.
‘It feels great. It always feels good. It’s a really good feeling when you come back like that any time," said Gordon after the match. "Obviously I’m excited to score and help the team out. It feels good. We’re at three in a row here so things seem to be looking up.”
A first goal in Rapids colors gave the home side a third consecutive win at home and a first come-from-behind victory of the campaign.
The season did not get off to the start Gordon, or the fans, would have hoped. Plagued by a back injury, the former San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy man appeared in seven matches with four starts. He came close to opening his account against his former team on May 13, but saw an early chance slide just wide of the net. Gordon’s new boss, Pablo Mastroeni, envisioned moments like this when recruiting him this past offseason.
“As a player I remember looking over in the 80th minute and I was like ‘this is going to be a dogfight until the end’ I’m sure Columbus thought the same. I couldn’t be happier for a guy who is just a team player that fights every day, commits to the cause when things aren’t going well. On a night like tonight he came up trumps and put the team on his back in a critical moment,” said Pablo following the 2-1 victory.
So even though, over the years, #16 scored plenty of big goals for Western Conference rivals of the burgundy and blue, Alan Gordon’s 53rd career MLS goal will always bring a smile to the faithful at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.