Jamison Olave's goal against Seattle Sounders has earned the defender rave reviews — after all, it was a late game-winning goal he scored, and that makes a big difference.
Those reviews aren't necessarily coming from fans, who have been critical of the defender, particularly after last weekend's draw against Orlando City.
RSL defender Tony Beltran and coach Jeff Cassar spoke to reporters on Saturday after a big 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders. Both were particularly appreciative of the defender's influence and spoke of his goal and his performances this season.
Maybe I'm a little biased here, but it actually looked pretty clean. I only saw it on the jumbotron — and it was the smaller one, not the huge one - but it looked kinda clean. It looked like he actually did a great job of timing it and actually getting to the ball. But it's a tough one and it's tough for the referee to see that. Maybe I'll have a different opinion, but at that point I won't care.
I thought - and you guys can disagree - but I thought that he did fantastic in the game against Orlando. What we needed to do was figure out ways that our backline wasn't constantly having to deal with balls over the top. I thought our backline was, for 88 minutes, unbelievable. Then we had a few mental lapses. Other than that, Jamison's had a great week of training and he's taken care of his body. What people don't know is that he had a little bit of a strain and it was worrisome whether he was going to be able to make it this whole game. So for him to sacrifice himself for the team and be there at the end in such a crucial point, I thought he was fantastic.
The first thing I do is look to the sideline ref and look at the official, because you know I feel like 99 out of 100 times in this league that's going to be a foul. Not saying that it was a foul, but typically that's the call. But credit to Jamison. He's such a big presence and so explosive. He didn't touch the goal keeper. He just got up and won the ball, so deserving goal. Great goal.
As a professional athlete, as a professional soccer player we have to deal with criticism. Whether prospective is positive or negative. You just have to go about and do your job and I know Jamison is a very capable defender, and I'm happy to see him do well in the defensive side today and also on the offensive side and get that win for us. Congratulations to him.