The latest example occurred Wednesday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps, going solo in the 98th minute to secure an incredible 4-3 win to move the Quakes atop Group B at the MLS is Back Tournament.
Including that goal, here’s a rundown of some of Salinas’ brightest moments when the pressure gets turned up to 11. Since joining MLS in 2008, he has 20 goals and 49 assists.
With the match tied 3-3, Salinas dribbled past four defenders before slotting home a dramatic late-winner. It was the perfect ending to a match that had more twists and turns than any in recent MLS memory.
The Cali Clasico and big moments from Salinas go hand-in-hand, with the midfielder scoring a personal-high four goals against the LA Galaxy. Few top his equalizer in an eventual 3-2 win from the 2013 season. His 92nd-minute equalizer set the stage for Alan Gordon’s infamous late winner before a packed house at Stanford Stadium. And guess what? Salinas' squared ball to Sam Cronin set up the eventual back-post cross for Gordon's dunk.
Talk about drama. With the Earthquakes and Galaxy tied during a 2017 match, Salinas collected a squared ball from Danny Hoesen before rifling his shot off the crossbar and in. Salinas called game, and the 2-1 win belonged to San Jose.
Slaying the Lions
With mere seconds left in injury time, Salinas salvaged San Jose a point at Orlando City during this June 2016 match. After trying to dribble and combine, the ball bounced to Salinas for a near-range finish that stunned the home crowd. A potentially heartbreaking road defeat became an inspiring 2-2 draw.
While most of Salinas’ 316 career games have come with San Jose, he's also competed for Vancouver and the Philadelphia Union in MLS. His first and only goal with the latter came in the 86th minute of an Aug. 27, 2011 match at Empire Field, Vancouver’s former home ground. Video of the strike was hard to scrounge up, but it provided the 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.