FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Scott Caldwell couldn’t help but notice the assembled media milling around his locker following Saturday night’s critical 2-1 win over D.C. United.
“Are you guys here to talk about my first professional goal?” the rookie asked with a wry smile.
The lighthearted moment spoke volumes of Caldwell’s maturity even before the young midfielder calmly and thoughtfully reflected on his unfortunate own goal which put the Revolution into an early hole against D.C.
While tracking the run of United midfielder John Thorrington through the box, Caldwell stretched to cut out Luis Silva’s cross from the left channel. He was successful in doing so, but Caldwell’s touch took the ball beyond stranded goalkeeper Matt Reis before bouncing into the net.
“At the last second I saw Matt was coming, I just didn’t really have time to react and let go,” Caldwell said. “I still thought I could’ve won the ball, but I misplayed it. I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Caldwell said the own goal – the first he’d ever scored at any level – was “devastating,” but he only allowed himself a brief moment to hang his head. When Reis offered a hand to pull Caldwell to his feet, the youngster popped up and immediately began contemplating how to move forward.
While some young players would’ve tried to hide in the following minutes, Caldwell did the opposite, figuring the best way to push on was to get himself involved immediately.
“You’ve just got to try to get on the ball as much as possible and forget about it,” he said. “I tried to get another quick touch in, complete a couple passes – just simple ones to get my mind off it and really move on to the next play.”
Caldwell’s plan worked to perfection as the deep-lying midfielder played a key role in the Revolution’s comeback, facilitating possession and dictating the tempo as the Revs put United to the sword in the second half.
His efforts – while unsurprising – elicited praise from both his teammates and head coach Jay Heaps.
“I thought he was instrumental in the way we played; he was excellent,” said Heaps, who noted that he’d scored a few own goals himself during his 11-year career. “I knew he was going to handle it well. Here’s a kid who we’ve asked so much from this year and every day, whether it’s training or in the game, steps on the field and performs.”