San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham withstood an onslaught of more than 30 shots and 19 corner kicks from the Seattle Sounders in US Open Cup play on Tuesday, helping San Jose first reach and then survive overtime, only to be eliminated in a penalty shootout.
The shootout result was hardly a just reward for Bingham, who was scintillating in repeatedly repelling the Sounders – especially Lamar Neagle – during 120 minutes of action. First, the fourth-year pro pushed Neagle’s 13th-minute attempt onto a post, then he came off his line to snuff out Neagle’s penetrating run during injury time of the first overtime session, and finally Bingham tipped Neagle’s shot over the crossbar in the 120th minute.
“As the goalie, sometimes you just get in the mode where you feel like nothing can beat you,” Bingham told MLSsoccer.com by phone from Tukwila, Wash. “That’s what you want every time you step onto the field. You want to be borderline arrogant when you step on the field.
"I thought tonight, everyone did that. Not just me, but I thought everyone had that chip on their shoulder, and the guys all played great.”
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Bingham was credited with six saves in regulation and three more in overtime. Aside from frustrating Neagle, Bingham’s biggest highlight might have been a pawing 79th-minute stop on Chad Barrett’s header, which appeared ticketed for the upper corner.
“I thought David Bingham was excellent tonight,” Quakes coach Mark Watson told reporters at Starfire Stadium. “He hasn’t played a lot for us, but I thought he had a fantastic performance. He’ll come off disappointed because of the loss in penalty kicks, but he was so important in terms of us even getting to penalty kicks.
"He made some really big saves on a few occasions. It just shows what kind of talent and ability that he has.”
“I like to wait and make them hit the side netting,” Bingham said. “Unfortunately for me, they all put their foot through it and pretty much buried it in the side netting. It’s tough to get a touch on those. … Credit to them on their ability to finish and stay composed in those last couple of seconds.”
Bingham and Watson agreed that the 24-year-old, who has seen only 405 minutes of league action since joining San Jose in 2011, was helped Tuesday by getting regular work on loan with the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions. Bingham has a 5-2-1 record and 0.88 goals-against average in starting eight out of nine league matches this season for the Scorpions.
“It’s great to get games,” Bingham said. “It makes the game fun again. … It helps me with my sharpness.”
With no further non-league games on the horizon, Bingham said he does not know whether he will be heading back to San Antonio, whose fall season starts in July, or staying in San Jose.
“I don’t ask,” Bingham said. “I put my head down, come into work, and hopefully put in a good performance like tonight. I’ll leave the rest up to Watty. If I can string a couple of good performances together, who knows? You never know what could happen.”