Brian White celebrates his dramatic goal with his Red Bulls teammates. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Brian White has a soccer philosophy that he has followed since he was a youth player: Don’t give up.
So, when push came to shove during stoppage time Saturday night, the Red Bulls forward decided to make his move.
During a scramble in front of the Chicago Fire net, White managed to knock the ball into the goal to give the Red Bulls a 2-2 draw at Soldier Field and a precious road point as they moved closer to clinching an MLS playoff berth.
“It is something I learned at a young age, which is to follow everything up,” White told reporters afterwards. “The ball fell to Tommy [Barlow] and I was expecting him to score but there was a little bit in my mind that it could fall to me so I just try to follow it up and luckily enough for me it was right at my foot. All I had to do was tap it in.”
Give White and the Red Bulls credit for not giving up, although the visitors allowed Chicago to rally from a one-goal deficit in the second half before the forward’s 11th-hour heroics.
Last week, White performed his magic in added time to lift the Red Bulls to a 1-1 home draw with Orlando City SC.
Saturday night, his goal allowed New York to extend its unbeaten streak to four games with only three matches remaining in the regular season.
“It shows a lot of resilience, never give up, even when we go down,” White said. “We fight to the very last whistle and shows that we’re able to score two goals [over the last two matches] in the final minute of the game. Unfortunately, it came down to that kind of situation where we want to win these games instead of just tie, but it shows the character of this team to always fight no matter what.”
But leaving it late shouldn’t become a habit. While it makes for nice stories and headlines, teams can’t win all their important matches in injury time.
“It comes down to us getting better defensively and offensively,” White said. “We need to create more on the offensive third and we don’t want to let it come down to the final whistle and score a late one to tie. We want to create more chances to score more goals and win these games ultimately so we just have to look at what we can improve on and trying to be better for the next game and get a win.”
Let’s see if the Red Bulls can register a point or three in regulation time when they take on the New England Revolution Wednesday night.