Rosales stands in Columbus’ half of the field. Moisture clings to the air and skin. He raises his hand.
The low "ooohhh" sound from the canary yellow fans is easy to ignore. Eddie positions himself on the 18 drifting away from the jostling players. The Crew’s Josh Williams touches him once, twice. Eddie chooses his run.
Rosales takes two steps toward the ball.
Players jerk left and right pushing off each other. Fists full of fabric stretch jerseys. Eddie sprints along the chalk line then cuts inward in front of the mass of players towards goal. Josh Williams follows, but he’s too late. Eddie has the pace and the better position.
Rosales sees it, that spot where the ball and Eddie’s amber ale colored hair will meet.
Rosales’ left foot crushes the grass next to the ball. The muscles in his torso, waist, legs, and feet all making subtle adjustments to affect the speed and trajectory of the ball.
Foot meets ball.
Eddie takes a half a dozen more steps, then leaps. His legs fly ahead of his torso. Head tilts back then snaps forward and down.
Rosales shakes a waist high fist in success.
Crew keeper Matt Lampson dives right. The ball sails under his outstretched arm. Concentric circles ripple across the back of the square pattered net.
Zach swoops in off the far post slamming the ball back into goal as if to rub it in: That’s cute, you thought the red card would stop us.