Kaku shows off his new dance after his goal. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — Finally, after weeks and weeks and weeks of waiting, Alejandro Romero Gamarra got to show the world his goal celebration dance.
It was pretty simple. Two steps with his right foot, then two with his left foot.
He figured he was going to use it much sooner than later because he had gotten off to a great start, even as a superior playmaker, tallying an impressive three goals in a four-game span by May 5.
There was, one problem, however, the man better known as Kaku to most Red Bull supporters had toscore a goal before he could unveil his celebration to the world.
Some 113 days after scoring his last goal on May 5, Kaku performed his dance after scoring what turned out to be the only goal in the Red Bulls’ 1-0 victory over D.C. United at Red Bull Arena Sunday night.
“We had practiced it a while back,” said Kaku, who fired home a 23-yard blast off a headed clearance in the 56th minute. “We hadn’t been lucky enough to score. We wanted to celebrate. We had been practicing that dance with Derrick [Etienne].”
Of course, the 23-year-old Kaku’s main responsibility is setting up his teammates with lethal scoring opportunities, particularly Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer. And he has accomplished that feat quite well, with a league-leading 14 assists in 23 matches. But he hasn’t been afraid of shooting the ball when he has gotten the chance.
“He’s a special player and he tends to show up in big moments,” Wright-Phillips said. “I’m a big fan of Kaku and i just hope he carries on and hopes and gets better towards the playoffs. When he plays well, we play well.”
Team captain Luis Robles realized Kaku’s value to the team from the get-go.
“Kaku has been great for us,” he said. “When you look at the history of the league and the transactions that have occurred. you’ve seen so many international players come into this league and you can say they rob teams of salary and roster spots, situations. Yet, you look at Kaku and how seamlessly he has fit into our team. Our system works well with him. Even this summer there’s growing pains. there’s been some frustration with him personally, just trying to figure out sometimes when its not going his way, where he needs to be.”
“The guys continue to believe in him,” Robles said. “That’s why we have moments like this because at the end of the day he’s a game-changer, a difference maker. And even though there are going to be growing pains throughout the season, you look at what he’s done for our team, what he means for the team and he has been fantastic.”
As for Kaku, the 5-7, 150-lb. midfielder didn’t seem bothered by the drought.
“Sometimes [I am] unable to finish the right way, sometimes it doesn’t work out,” he said. “I try to assist Brad and Danny but to be honest, I’m happy it worked out today and I’m hoping to do it again.”
He’ll get an opportunity sooner than later. The Red Bulls host the Houston Dynamo at RBA Wednesday at 8 p.m.