With the Montreal Impact pushing for an equalizer at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo were under considerable spells of attack from the Impact. No time was that more prevalent than in the 62nd minute when Andrew Wenger tried to hit home a bouncing ball off a corner that was just feet from goal.
Sarkodie, however, was in the right place at the right time and cleared the ball to safety. The young defender is developing a reputation for his goal-saving antics after four saves to his credit in 2013, including a double save against D.C. United that won a Newton Award, recognition from the ESPN Sport Science group, for his reaction time to make the stop.
“Mr. Sports Science is what we call him,” left back Corey Ashe said. “He’s always in the right spots at the right time. There’s a reason why he won Defender of the Year for our team [in 2013]. Guy’s a great player and is always in the right spot at the right time.”
Sarkodie being in the right place at the right time so often seems uncanny for one player. The right back joked about having secret sessions with goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley so as to hunt for starting netminder Tally Hall’s job.
Hall didn't mind that joke nor the help that Sarkodie gave him in a Houston victory that improved them to 2-0.
“I’ll give Kofi a pair of gloves, he’s earned it at this point,” Hall joked after the game. “I’ll get his name put on these gloves, he’s earned it.”
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While the number of saves are unique, there is a method to the madness for Sarkodie and it has to do with simply playing his role.
“You try to just stay aware and get [Hall’s] back,” Sarkodie said. “He’s very important to our team and he always has my back on plays and gets in the box and he’s big and makes a lot of quality saves for us, so I just try to do the same for him.”
Added head coach Dominic Kinnear: “He’s alert when he’s on the post and that’s what the guys are supposed to do. Follow the ball and not stand at the post. He seems to find himself at the right place at the right time and thankfully so tonight.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.