If you're one of the MLS fans who remembers Dave Salzwedel, it might be because of the heroics the former San Jose Clash goalkeeper pulled off 23 years ago on this day.
On March 22, 1997, Salzwedel kept a clean sheet against Tony Meola's New York MetroStars over 90 minutes, then scored the decisive goal in the 11th round (!!!) of the old-fashioned MLS shootout to give the Clash a 1-0 victory as both teams opened their second MLS seasons at Spartan Stadium. He even saved a penalty in the non-penalty tiebreak. (Check out the video below to see how that's possible.)
Getting the better of one of the all-time United States goalkeeping great would be one of the high points of Salzwedel's MLS career. He won only six more games for the Clash in 1997, and although he was picked up by the New England Revolution in the 1998 Supplemental Draft, he would be released without making an appearance.
Meola, who also scored a goal during the shootout, was just two years into an 11-year MLS career.
Other notable players on the pitch that day? Current Portland Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese and a 22-year-old Eddie Lewis, who was just beginning his ascent to a successful career that eventually led to Europe and the US national team. Not to mention legendary Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
Clash 1, MetroStars 0 (SO)
1997 MLS Regular Season Week 1
Attendance: 23,501 (Spartan Stadium)
SJ: Dave Salzwedel -- Troy Dayak, John Doyle, Oscar Draguicevich -- Ramiro Corrales, Dominic Kinnear, Eddie Lewis (60' Shawn Medved), Curt Onalfo (60' Ben Iroha) -- Jeff Baicher, Lawrence Lozzano, Christopher Sullivan
Head Coach: Laurie Calloway
NY: Tony Meola -- Cristian da Silva, Rhett Harty, Andrew Lewis, Kerry Zavagnin -- Braeden Cloutier, Roberto Donadoni, Carlos Parra -- Miles Joseph (71' Rob Johnson), Giovanni Savarese, A.J. Wood (46' Antony De Avila)
Head Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira