ORLANDO – Houston Dynamo academy product Francisco Navas Cobo could not have come up with a more dramatic or spectacular way to score his first ever goal for the Houston Dynamo.
His late equalizer on Saturday night in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic against FC Dallas came with just two minutes remaining in regulation, after the Dynamo failed to see a single bounce go their way near goal.
“It was a tight game,” Navas Cobo told MLSsoccer.com. “They were good at the back, and I told myself with three minutes left, I’m going to get the ball and go for glory. I was going to take guys on like I usually do. Then I saw a clear shot and I shot it.”
Navas Cobo, who entered Saturday's match as a right midfielder with a half-hour remaining, proceeded to unleash a swerving right-footed blast that found the top left corner of the goal. The effort even left his teammates in awe.
[inline_node:329498]“We were all a bit surprised,” manager Dominic Kinnear said. “He does have good individual ability at times. But to see him score a goal like that, we’re all surprised and very happy for him.”
The strike helped the Dynamo reach a PK shootout, although they lost to FC Dallas.
The 19-year-old Navas Cobo dedicated his goal to his late grandmother, Flor Maria Arbolera, who passed away several years ago.
After a 2010 season in which he saw a single regular season minute of playing time, the US Under-20 international hopes there are a lot more dedications on tap for this year.
“I want to always be in the 18, that’s my first goal,” Navas Cobo said. “And then I want play a lot of minutes. I hope I get on the field and do well for my team.
“Day to day I am fitting more into the team and I’m working on this," he added. "This year I hope that [Kinnear] considers me and I’ll give my best every time he gives me the chance.”
Navas Cobo says Kinnear’s instructions for him whenever he takes the field are always simple: go out and enjoy yourself.
On Saturday, he took that advice to heart.
Check out the Feb. 24 edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, featuring D.C. United's Charlie Davies, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and league executive Nelson Rodriguez talking about the new playoff structure.