Healey Scores Clutch Goal in Comeback Win for Team USA
Baltimore, MD--Pat Healey scored a sixth attacker goal with 2:22 remaining and Evan McNeley's power play goal 38 seconds later was the game winner as the U.S. National Arena Soccer Team rallied for a 5-4 win over the Czech Republic at the Valley View Casino Center. Aside from scoring his first goal with team USA Healey also assisted McNeley’s game winning goal, Healey led the Blast in assists this season.
A spirited crowd of 2,770 saw Team USA score twice inside the final three minutes to win Group A and advance to the quarterfinals of the WMF Arena Soccer World Cup against Germany on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The U.S. had squandered a first half 3-0 lead, seeing the spirited Czechs rally with four straight goals, including a short-handed score with 4:48 remaining that put them temporarily ahead.
Healey, a first-team all-MASL performer and the league's Defender of the Year, donned the keeper's jersey to attack with 2:45, manning the point of attack before getting close enough to launch a rocket straightaway from the attacking red line, beating keeper Marek Gruber top shelf for the equalizing goal.
"I'm comfortable with being the sixth attacker," said Healey, the captain of the MASL finalist Baltimore Blast, "We only had to do it a couple times this year but we work on it all the time. They sagged in a little low and I had room to shoot."
The United States now flies on Thursday morning to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they will face Germany in quarterfinal action on Friday night. Romania and Canada will play in another quarterfinal, with the winner to face the U.S.-Germany winner. Brazil-Czech Republic and Mexico-Romania comprise the other two quarterfinals, to be played in Tulsa and in Flint, Michigan. The WMF World Cup semifinals and final will be held in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.