Shots heard 'round the world: Adam Moffat's blast boosts the Houston Dynamo
While his volley has naturally attracted huge attention, the midfielder thinks that his second strike of the game was even more important. The low long-range effort that hit a post and deflected in off goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth might not make many highlight reels, but it gave the Dynamo a 2-1 win and back-to-back victories.
The Scot's first was a thing of beauty, a work of art; his second, to break a 1-1 tie, was useful and decisive. It gave Houston three points that keeps them within touch of the Eastern Conference leaders and enhanced self-belief after a tough two months.
"It's great to get the win – the second one's probably more important than the first," the 27-year-old said of his goals at Gillette Stadium. "Hopefully that spurs us on. Hopefully we get everyone healthy and that gives us a good boost."
The win was achieved without captain Brad Davis, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Named to the roster with Corey Ashe for the July 31 All-Star Game, he'll hope to be back for that, as well as next Wednesday's prestigious BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup match against Stoke City of the English Premier League.
After Stoke's visit, the Dynamo return to MLS action when they host the Chicago Fire at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 27 (8 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network).
By August, Houston's roster should be deeper than it has been in months. Ashe and Will Bruin will be back from U.S. national team duty, while the bye week gives striker Omar Cummings time to recover from a groin strain. Long-term injury victim Calen Carr looks to be edging closer to a first-team return at some point before the end of the regular season.
Regardless of who's available in the coming weeks, winger Andrew Driver says that the Dynamo's morale has been boosted by the wins over New England and the Philadelphia Union.
"We needed a bit of confidence, we weren't playing as well as we can and we weren't getting much luck. We never lost faith in the fact that we're a good team and we knew that if we kept working hard and if we do what [head coach Dominic Kinnear] says then the results will turn around and hopefully we can use these two wins and build on them," he said.
"We've not achieved anything now, now is where the hard work really does start. We've got to go on a run with continuous wins. So, hopefully looking to take the confidence from these two games and go on and do that."
Driver believes that the Moffat missile was a turning-point for a team that has lately struggled to find the net, despite creating plenty of chances. "The fact that over the last few weeks we hadn't been scoring many goals, for one like that to go in gives everyone a massive confidence boost and a massive lift. When you score goals like that you know you can go on and score more. I think it was a massive moment for us in the season," he said.
"You get a real good feeling and it helps with the week afterwards, you have a great week, the atmosphere around the training ground's a lot better. We've got to take that feeling, use the feeling and want to get used to it."
Moffat was typically modest when asked about his goal at training this week. Even though he's become known for his spectacular efforts from distance, he reckons this might be a one-off, especially on his left foot. "I always think, what are your chances of doing it again? Some goals I think I could; that, I don't know if I could. It was on my weaker side," he said.
"Sometimes I think, why did I even shoot there? There's no one near me. Fortunately I did. I think that's one of the harder ones difficulty-wise. The goalkeeper didn't see it. It wasn't in the corner or anything like that but that's part of hitting it first time, to catch him off guard and I did.
"I just focus on getting a good connection with the ball, especially with the weaker foot it's even more important. I don't know how I've got some power, I didn't used to have that. Maybe when I was 18 I started slowing down, I couldn't run fast any more so I decided I'd start kicking the ball hard. It's working out."
Tom Dart is a contributing writer to HoustonDynamo.com. Former editor and reporter for The Times of London, Dart currently freelances for The Guardian and SI.com.