Player of the Week

Player of the week: Brian Carroll

Photo: Daniel Studio

One of the greatest things about team sports is that you never know who’s going to step up at the biggest moment.

When I think, for example, about the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, I remember the way every player on the roster seemed to contribute to that magical run. Even though many of the big hits came from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, or Jimmy Rollins, it was Pedro Feliz (remember him?) who drove in the winning run of Game 5 of the World Series. Even though there were ace performances by Cole Hamels or stone-cold saves by Brad Lidge, perhaps the biggest win in the series went to the unheralded Joe Blanton in Game 4 — a performance which included a home run.

In a good team, role players step up and shine when their team needs them badly.

And that’s what Brian Carroll did when all seemed lost against Colorado.

I watch the Union via MLS Live, which is unfortunately delayed by about two minutes. (Any way to fix that, MLS Digital?) As I was about to turn my iPad off in disgust on Saturday night, I suddenly noticed a dropdown notification from Twitter. Then another. Then another.

Apparently, Philly Soccer Page had tweeted “Brian Carroll!!!!!” People seemed excited. But why on earth would that be the case?

Even knowing what was coming, I couldn’t quite believe it. The ball lofted into the box from Gaddis, the remarkable header from Herbers. And streaking into the box, against all odds, was the Union’s longest tenured player, their oldest player, their captain, meeting the falling arc of the ball with his left foot and placing it in the tiny sliver of space between Zac MacMath and the goalpost.

Unbelievable.

Really, Dan said it pretty well yesterday. Flatly speaking, the Union didn’t deserve a point on Saturday. But all you need in soccer is one moment of brilliance, even from one of your most unheralded players.

It was a brilliant goal at a memorable moment, and for that Brian Carroll is Philly Soccer Page’s Player of the Week.

Honorable mention: After a solid start to the season, center back Ken Tribbett hit a few obstacles. First, an injury suffered in training pushed Tribbett to the sidelines. While sidelined, he watched as Josh Yaro seized the starting spot with a string of solid performances. It would have been easy for Tribbett to lose focus.

But when a crunching collision forced Yaro out of the Orlando City game at halftime with a shoulder injury, Tribbett stepped in like he hadn’t missed a minute. In 46 minutes, he notched his first MLS assist on Tranquillo Barnetta’s opener, then followed that up with his first MLS goal — a corner kick that fell perfectly to Tribbett at the six yard box to fire home, equalizing a contentious game. Performing admirably three days later in Colorado, Tribbett came off the bench to deliver a pair of key performances for the Union, and is deserving of an honorable mention.

2 Comments

  1. Dude, you clearly need to turn off your Twitter feed when you watch the games. Don’t want any spoilers. ;o)

  2. Roger That says:

    That corner didn’t just fall to Tribbett — while others were static, he was crashing the box, and got his reward; same with BC, who was charging in …

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