July 9, 2009

Santino's redemption

Go watch Santino Quaranta's post-game interview from last night...

There's very few articles that have affected me as strongly as Steven Goff's excellent piece on Santino's struggles. He played with such heart and passion last season in his comeback with DC United. Next to Ben Olsen and Jaime Moreno, at this point, Santino is DC United.

The next step on his journey was to get back into the national team. I honestly wasn't sure if it would happen. Santino was playing himself into strong consideration for the 2006 World Cup team, but blew it by showing up to an offseason training camp out of shape. As hard as he played last season, you had to wonder if he could overcome all of it and make it back. He's been even better this season in MLS.

If anybody earned their call-up for the Gold Cup, it was Santino. I was hoping he'd play from the start, but nothing against Grenada. It all just seemed too perfect, coming back to RFK, playing in front of his hometown fans, friends, and family. Would Bradley be that sentimental?

I think he's glad that he made the move. Quaranta was the best player on the field in the first half, and capped it off with an excellent finish to put the US in the lead. You don't see many more emotional celebrations that that one.

Welcome back, Santino.

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