Chad Barrett was truly caught up in the game when the ball hit the back of the net, running toward the southeast corner at CenturyLink Field after scoring his sixth goal of the season to give Sounders FC a 1-0 lead in the 46th minute against the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night.
Then he remembered. This was no ordinary goal. It was the 50th goal he had scored in his 10 MLS seasons. So he raced back to the goal and snatched the ball out of the net, running it to the Seattle bench so he could keep a memento from the milestone moment.
“I’m so lost in the moment, I almost forgot to pick up the ball,” he smiled. “It’s great to be in a class with certain people.”
On the landmark goal, Obafemi Martins played a brilliant ball in behind the San Jose defense, leaving Barrett 1v1 with Jon Busch at the edge of the box. He ripped a left-footed shot just beyond Busch’s right hand and it kissed the back of the net as the crowd of 38,909 in attendance erupted.
Over an eight-day stretch, Barrett has scored timely goals in three matches, proving his value and ability again and again. He has found a knack for timely goals throughout the season, starting with his first league appearance in Rave Green when he netted a stoppage-time winner against defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City in the season opener. Then in his first start, he scored the first goal in a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, following that up with a punishing third goal in a 4-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
“He’s had a very good season for us getting goals off the bench and getting goals in starting situations,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “Chad’s done very well.”
His addition has been a boost for the Sounders, as he is included in the wealth of Seattle’s depth. But it has also been a great revival for Barrett, too. After consecutive seven-goal seasons in 2010 and 2011, he dropped to just one goal with the LA Galaxy in 2012 and two with the New England Revolution last season. Now with six goals this season, he is approaching his career-best total from 2008. In that season, he was traded at midseason from the Chicago Fire to Toronto FC and between the two clubs he totaled nine goals and seven assists in 2,172 minutes. In just 684 minutes this season, he has notched six goals and one assist.
For all the glory of his accomplishment, though, Barrett walked away disappointed that it didn’t come in a victory.
“It was great to get the 50th, but that’s something you think about at the end of your career. Right now, three points is really all we want,” he said. “It’s just bittersweet right now. It would have been great to get a win at home in front of our fans. They pack it in on a Wednesday. You want to do it for the team, you want to do it for the club, you want to do it for the owners. You want to do it mostly for the fans.”
Barrett is the 41st player in league history to score 50 goals.