SEATTLE — The biggest goals aren’t always the prettiest, but that suits Chad Barrett just fine.
The veteran forward scored a stoppage-time winner in his Seattle Sounders debut on Saturday, handing his new team a 1-0 victory over defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City.
The goal came at the end of a mad scramble in front of the goal that featured Clint Dempsey hitting a shot off the crossbar and Barrett eventually cleaning up the chance in front of the net.
“You don’t think, you just shoot,” said Barrett, who was picked in the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft in December. “I just put myself in front of goal. Dempsey was unfortunate to miss the first time. The ball came right back to him. [Lawrence] Olum tried to not let Dempsey got a clean one on and it came right to me.
“I’ll take 10 of those a year.”
Over the course of his 10-year MLS career, Barrett has scored 45 goals. Until now, though, he had never scored one in front of nearly 40,000 fans. The eruption of noise that followed took him a bit by surprise.
“I couldn’t even hear myself scream,” Barrett said. “I’m pretty sure I was screaming or I’m going through puberty. It has to be one of the two.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling, especially with all 40,000 people staying until the very end.”
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The goal salvaged what was otherwise a somewhat forgettable performance by both Barrett and the Sounders. Upon entering in the 78th minute, Barrett’s first touch was a bit heavy and none of his passes were particularly sharp.
The Sounders, up until then, had enjoyed most of the run of play, but were hardly dominant in a match that featured 40 fouls, including 25 committed against them.
Barrett’s goal, however, allowed the overriding narrative to be a positive one.
“I want to get on [the fans’] good side as fast as possible,” he said. “I had some bad crosses before that, but that’s all forgiven I think.”