We all know Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” and Christian Laettner’s “The Shot.” On Saturday, the Red Bulls almost introduced “The Split.”
In the 53rd minute of a scoreless game, Seattle’s Sanna Nyassi took a through ball and deftly swept around charging New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. With nothing but open net, Nyassi fired a rolling shot toward goal from the top of the box.
That’s when Danleigh Borman started his sprint from about 20 yards away. Racing across the box, the left back made a desperate slide just as the ball inched toward the goal line. The tip of his Nikes nudged the shot out of bounds.
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“Sometimes you get to those balls, sometimes you don’t,” Borman said, “but you don’t know unless you try and get there.”
Even more impressive than Borman’s athleticism to protect a shutout was his shrewd move to protect his manhood. He brought his legs together while in full slide to avoid what, with legs open, could have been a disastrous, cringe-worthy injury.
“I had to protect ‘the boys’ so that is why I slid the way I did once I cleared the ball,” he said.
It was a play he wasn’t supposed to make, but one Borman and his teammates find themselves making more and more this season. Those brassy efforts are a big reason why the Red Bulls (5-3) are in first place in the East. They will try to hold on to the top spot tonight against Columbus (4-0-2).