Jahmir Hyka doesn’t know who the heck the Goonies are. “I’m not good with movie titles,” the Albanian international explained, raising a bemused eyebrow at the seemingly arcane reference, unaware of its deep attachment to the San Jose Earthquakes franchise, dating back to his club’s title-winning 2012 season.
Fortunately, his ignorance didn’t stop him from channeling the Goonie-esque Never-Say-Die spirit to bag a stoppage-time equalizer and salvage a point for the Quakes against undefeated FC Dallas on Friday night. Dominic Kinnear’s men are once again making a habit of their late comebacks, tonight’s match following a pattern similar to last week’s rally against the Seattle Sounders.
Kellyn Acosta’s seventy-ninth minute opener had appeared to snatch three points for FC Dallas in a frustrating match for the Quakes, but Kinnear’s men used all four minutes of stoppage time to orchestrate a last-gasp equalizer at the end of a Hail Mary long ball.
Although Dallas had been shutting down countless Quakes crosses for ninety-three-and-a-half minutes at Avaya Stadium, this last ball bounced down inside a crowded box and Hyka was on hand to convert.
“I just followed the ball,” he said. “The defender missed the ball a little bit, I think, and I just went at full speed. I just took it with me and shot it. I didn’t think so much. Thank God it went in.”
“It wasn’t a clean strike. Maybe that’s why it went in.”
Amidst the mass of bodies in the penalty area, coach Dominic Kinnear only realized it was a goal after the jubilant roar of the home fans. Although he’d understandably rather not leave it for so late, he appreciates the comeback spirit of the team.
“I’ll be honest, there were so many people in the way I couldn’t really see what happened,” he said. “Even when the ball rolled in, there was probably, besides David Bingham, only one other person not in that area. I know the ball bounced a couple times, so there was a little bit of desperation from us, and sometimes that can lead to pressure being broken.”
It wasn’t pretty but was damn sure entertaining.
“It’s a whole different squad and a whole different team with a whole different mentality,” said club captain Chris Wondolowski of the Goonie flashbacks, “but the belief and the fight will always be here.”
Even Hyka, signed over the offseason from Switzerland, has already inherited that spirit, even if he can’t name it just yet.
“We showed that we fight until the last second,” he said.
Photo: ISI Photos