OBETZ, Ohio — Tommy Heinemann delivered a “baby” and his first goal.
Not a bad night’s work on Sunday as the Columbus Crew routed visiting Colorado 4-1 with “Baby Doc” Heinemann netting the final tally in the 57th minute, adding to a goal by Eddie Gaven and a pair from Andrés Mendoza.
It was after Mendoza’s blistering shot in 18th minute that the Peruvian forward did his usual goal celebration honoring his children by tucking the ball under his shirt to appear pregnant while using his thumb as a pacifier.
This time Mendoza added a twist: He ran to the left corner flag, fell onto his back, lifted his legs and waited for Heinemann to pull the ball from under his shirt. Heinemann said they had not practiced the procedure but he played along anyway.
“[Mendoza] told me to pull it out of his shirt,” he said. “He’s like, ‘Take [the] ball, take the ball.’”
There was a bit of laboring before the act was finished.
“He said the ball got stuck in his shirt,” Heinemann said. “He’s a goofball. We get along pretty well. He played awesome.”
There were no similar theatrics when Heinemann registered his first MLS goal in his 11th game after spending the past two years in the minors.
“I don’t have any kids yet,” he joked.
Instead, Heinemann ran around with a grin as big as a soccer ball while receiving congratulations for the strike from the top of the penalty area.
“Scoring is why I play the game,” he said. “I get pretty excited when I score. This one feels pretty good, my first MLS goal.”
Mike Magee was the youngest MetroStars player ever when he made his debut at age 18 in April 2003. Three months later, a 16-year-old Gaven surpassed the mark and the midfielders were teammates until Gaven was traded to Columbus in 2006.
They are linked again after Magee was forced into becoming an emergency goalkeeper Saturday for the LA Galaxy, just as Gaven did in the 2010 regular-season finale when William Hesmer separated his shoulder and the Crew had used their three substitutions.
Gaven gave up one goal and made two saves in five minutes to preserve a 3-1 win vs. Philadelphia, but he was outdone by Magee. The Galaxy lost ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts to an injury and backup Josh Saunders to a red card in the 43rd minute but Magee made four saves, three in the final 10 minutes, to help the Galaxy to a scoreless draw against San Jose.
“Mike definitely did a lot better than I did,” said Gaven, who did not see the game or highlights. “He didn’t give up any goals and I did on my first shot. I’m happy for him.”
He didn’t remember either one donning the gloves in practice during their time with the MetroStars (now Red Bulls).
“It’s strange it’s worked out like that,” Gaven said. “I hope I don’t have to go back in goal anytime soon.”
Gaven's stint last year was his second in goal. As a rookie, he entered as a goalkeeper substitute for an injured field player under a quirky rule that is no longer on the books. Regular netminder Tim Howard went into the field briefly, then the two exchanged positions at the first stoppage. Gaven later scored an overtime goal to beat D.C. United.