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.
“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).