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Jay Nolly Takes the Field

Master Soccer blogger Steven "Steve" Goff has already mentioned that DCU backup keeper Jay Nolly saw the field as a forward when the United reserves were down to 10 men over the weekend. Here's some more details.

Nolly last played the field with the U-23 Denver Kickers in regional playoffs about three years ago. He actually scored, too. But it was in a 10-0 rout, "so they told me not to celebrate," he said. "And I was real [unhappy], because I had one in mind that I was gonna do. I was about to do it and they were like 'No no no no no.' I was like I don't care I'm a goalie, I never score."

But he exercised self-control and did not celebrate. For the record, the celebration was going to involve pretending to sink a putt with the corner flag, which might have been decent.

Anyhow, he didn't know he was in line for some field duty last weekend until Shawn Crowe started running onto the field to replace him. As Nolly left the field, assistant coach Mark Simpson was standing there with gear.

"And I was like 'Yeah, this is my chance'," Nolly said yesterday, possibly joking. "It was 0-0, so I was like 'Maybe I'll go in there and score the game winner.' You never know."

He did not, as it turns out. But he said he's volunteered to play the field in training, and that he would gladly do so again in a reserve game.

"I mean, I don't think I'm that bad," he said. "I think I'm one of the better goalies with my feet....I don't think I'll drop the level too much. I'll actually put some pressure on the other team."

This, of course, is the hypothetical. In the hypothetical, he's a 6-3 guy with good feet, a guy who played the field when he was a kid and loved it, a guy with the potential to create havoc up top. Since we bloggers don't deal in hypotheticals, though, I asked him to grade his actual performance.

"I'd say B, B+ for effort, C for actual utility," he said. "Because I think I got the ball a couple times, and I gave it away at least half the time. But I ran as hard as I could, pressured them as hard as I could. I gave a good effort. I don't think they could have asked much more out of me....Any chance I get, I would love to go redeem myself and try and do something better."

Surprisingly, watching this collection of goal-scoring celebratory genius, I didn't see a single instance of corner flag putting.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 23, 2007; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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