After a fairly routine collection of a loose ball in his own penalty area, San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham motioned his players to press forward into the West Bromwich Albion side of the field. Just two minutes into the friendly between the MLS and EPL teams, players on both sides were just getting up to speed on a still evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. Then, with a simple toss of the ball just to the edge of the area, Bingham launched a ball in the general direction of forward Scott Sealy, but one that was way too heavy.
“I knew I over hit it so I turned around and walked back,” said Bingham when recalling the play, “and then everyone started yelling.”
What the Quakes rookie ‘keeper failed to see was the ball sail over everyone’s head, and take a skipping bounce at the top of the West Brom area. With Baggies goalkeeper Boaz Myhill casually waiting for the ball near the penalty spot, but looking directly into the setting sun and perhaps unable to judge the flight of the ball, he could only turn and watch the ball take a second bounce right on the goal line before settling into the back of the net for the opening goal of the night.
“I didn’t even see it go in,” admitted Bingham on his 95 yard strike. “I turned around and saw the ball hitting the net, so it was nice.”
Just the fourth MLS goalkeeper to score in league history, and the third to do so from inside his own defensive third, Bingham sheepishly accepted the congratulations of teammates and the cheers from the crowd applauding his efforts. That the Earthquakes went one to win the game 2-1 made the moment even more special for the ‘keeper and the fans who turned out for the friendly. Not only did their Quakes beat an English Premier League team at tiny Buck Shaw Stadium, but they also bore witness to the longest goal in San Jose Earthquakes franchise history.
(Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com)