Mexican goalkeeping icon Jorge Campos might have lost his title as the most versatile player in MLS history, after Brian Kamler's show for Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
It all started late in Real's match against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center, when RSL 'keeper D.J. Countess had a run-in with Chivas striker Francisco Mendoza and teammate Eddie Pope went down with a shoulder injury.
Real coach John Ellinger had already used all of his substitutes and was unable to replace Countess with rookie 'keeper Jay Nolly. So Kamler, who started in midfield for RSL, stepped up and offered to take stint in the nets.
"I used to fool around in goal a lot in college," Kamler said. "I like playing in goal and kind of getting the mindset of a 'keeper."
But can a field player ever really get the mindset of a goalkeeper?
"Well, I played in a USISL game with the Richmond Kickers," Kamler said. "I played a half in 1995."
Sure, but that was 10 years ago. Kamler must have felt out of place.
"Jay Nolly gave me his gloves. I didn't like his gloves. I need different gloves if that's going to happen again," Kamler said. "Plus his jersey was a little bit to big for me too."
So, while Kamler might not have felt as comfortable as he could have, he thought he did reasonably well between the posts.
"I thought my goal kicks were nice," he said. "I hit them over midfield which is always a good thing."
Real coach John Ellinger had nothing but praise for his stand-in 'keeper.
"We were standing there talking about it on the side, and we were talking about Kamler, and he's got the most experience as far as he's pretty comfortable with both feet," Ellinger said after the match. "It's not like he plays around at practice taking shots [in goal] or anything, but he stepped up and just said 'I'm going in.' So that was a pretty classy move on his part."
After becoming the second man ever to man the nets for Real Salt Lake, what does the future hold for the versatile Kamler?
"The only position I don't think I have ever played is forward, so far," he said. "If we're winning, maybe John will toss me up there."
David Hale is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.