FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Femi Hollinger-Janzen’s magical rookie season just keeps gaining steam.
The third-round SuperDraft pick made another instant impact off the bench on Saturday night, scoring the game winner just three minutes after taking the field to lift the New England Revolution to a critical 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC.
Femi now has two goals and one assist on the season, all off the bench and all in the past four games.
“He’s a hungry kid,” said Andrew Farrell, who shifted back to right back on Saturday night. “He’s getting his minutes when he can, and when he comes in, he makes an impact, which is what you want to do when you have 15 minutes to perform.”
“So excited that he was able to get in there and do what we see every day,” head coach Jay Heaps said of the rookie, one of just two third-round picks to see the field this year. “He brings so much energy, and he’s a goal scorer when he gets the opportunity.”
Femi showed that goal scorer’s instinct on his 80th-minute game winner. Lee Nguyen – who scored the Revs’ opener from the penalty spot to take his tally up to three goals and five assists in the past five games – poked the ball back to him 25 yards from goal.
Although he initially slipped and fell, Femi quickly recovered and lashed a low shot through a crowd and past diving Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
“I saw the space in front of me and the goal was in front of me, so I just hit it,” said Femi, who said he was a bit surprised he wasn’t closed down quicker. “I was really happy when it went in the back of the net.”
“I think that was a striker’s mentality,” said Heaps. “He was probably on the ground, saw the line and he just let it fly.”
Femi said his second career goal felt “just as good” as the first, and that hunger will remain after the Revs return from the Copa America break, which will now see them off from game action until mid-June.
As for whether his budding profile will garner more attention from opponents in the future, Femi is unconcerned, saying he’ll continue to be the same energetic force moving forward.
“No, I just keep going into every game with the mindset that I’ve got to play hard,” Femi said when asked if he’ll have to alter his approach. “Very happy to get the game winner. I’ve got to keep going.”