MONTREAL – That was not how Montreal Impact fans had envisioned their Saturday.
Their team was tied 1-1 with six minutes to go in their match against the Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo, on the verge of dumping their playoff prospects into their rivals’ hands in more ways than one: direct competitors in the race to the postseason could leapfrog them, leaving the Impact to approach their last remaining game at archrivals Toronto FC hoping for favorable results elsewhere.
But that was before Karl W. Ouimette turned away from Raymon Gaddis – who had committed a foul seconds before – and sprinted to the far post to meet Justin Mapp’s free kick. Born a 20-minute drive away from Stade Saputo, Ouimette had dreamt about driving home a winning goal for his club– litterally.
And in an instant, it came true.
“I dreamt about it yesterday,” Ouimette told reporters after the Impact’s 2-1 win. “I was like ‘Imagine if I put it in.’ I was motivated to put the winning goal in today. I didn’t sleep. Too much stress … Even in my wildest dreams, it wasn’t as beautiful.”
Ouimette’s first MLS goal sparked one of the craziest celebrations ever seen at Stade Saputo. While Mapp ran to embrace assistant coach Mauro Biello, Ouimette looked like he’d inhaled laughing gas as the rest of the team jumped all over him.
It contrasted significantly with the subdued aftermath of the first goal ever scored by a Montreal Homegrown Player in MLS, last month, when Maxim Tissot clinched a late tie for Montreal against Chicago.
“Thankfully, the guys jumped on me,” Ouimette said. “Because I had no idea what my celebration would be!”
That’s the only fuzzy part of the previous night’s vision, presumably. But Ouimette was surely able to re-live an actual goal much clearer when he went back under the covers.
“Oh, tonight I’m tired,” Ouimette interjected. “I’m going to sleep like a little baby.”