Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
It was going to take a lot to top the bicycle kick by OKC Energy FC’s Miguel Gonzalez in the premiere of the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3, which landed the No. 1 spot on that night’s SportsCenter, but the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Marcel Schäfer almost managed it on Wednesday night with his own highlight-reel blast that caught national attention.
Schäfer’s goal, which opened the scoring against FC Cincinnati in the seventh minute in front of a crowd of 15,227 at Nippert Stadium in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3, found itself in the No. 2 position in Wednesday night’s countdown.
The latest in a line of outstanding finishes in the first month of the 2017 USL regular season, Schäfer’s goal was his first for the Rowdies. The former VfL Wolfsburg standout picked up possession in the center circle after a Cincinnati turnover, drove forward into space and unleashed a shot that SportsCenter tracked at travelling 37 yards to find the right corner of the net.
“I had a perfect angle with my left foot so I decided to take a chance,” said Schäfer. “Luckily it went as planned and I scored my first goal with the Rowdies.”
The goal helped Tampa Bay earn a 1-1 draw with FCC on Wednesday night, and moved the side back to the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of this weekend’s action.