|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Daniel Feuerstein
This was the moment we'd all been waiting for as the Red Bulls brand new youth designated player came on the pitch as a second-half substitute and found a way to not only give the home side its first full three points in this 2023 season but to earn his first goal with the club and his first in Major League Soccer.
in the 86th minute after the first attacking run, was stopped by the Columbus Crew, the Red Bulls were able to get the ball back at midfield and tried it again. A quick pass along the far side found John Tolkin as he quickly received it, and made a looping pass to the near side, and out of nowhere waiting for it at the near post was Dante Vanzeir who took a half volley and smashed it past Elroy Room with authority.
He ran towards the South Ward and stood right in front of them. He took his celebrations from his teammates as he scored his first goal in a Red Bulls kit and his first in Major League Soccer. The young Belgian youth international striker was so thrilled to get on the board in his third match of the four played this young season.
"It's great. I think it's the moment we were all waiting for, especially for myself." Said Vanzeir, "That's a great start. First victory at home, first goal, that's a good moment to keep going. I didn't know if he (Tolkin) saw me, I'm sure he did. It was a great cross. I was trying to think where he would cross it, and thank god it went in."
But we all know who has the final say about this player who has started to play in this big moment for the club and hopefully will get more minutes as Vanzeir continues to get his fitness better and lasts a bit longer, is Head Coach Gerhard Struber.
"Yeah, I think he's in this direction football smart. We can see that his mechanisms in the off sideline, he directs some players in different directions, and have their good moves, has good mobility and in the end, he knows in which position he can come and score moments" said Gerhard Struber, "Of course, there were good moments in training and also we know a little bit more from him right now where is exactly his strength.
This is not so much from my side. I know him exactly but this is more than the team come in touch with him and realize more and more in which direction he wants the ball, in which direction he can help the group."
After scoring such a big goal for his club to cement the first victory of the season, you wonder what went through Vanzeir's mind celebrating at Red Bull Arena with all the fans in front of him?
"A lot of emotions went through me. First of all, I think just three points at home for me was the biggest thing. And then, I don't know, I was just celebrating and enjoying the moment. We needed this as a team."
Congratulations Dante Vanzeir on scoring your first MLS Goal. The hope is that you can continue to score more goals in more games, in many competitions this season. Just continue to put yourself into solid positions, and rack them up to hopefully one day, be called a legend for this club.