Mathis turns back the clock with stunning strike

Clint Mathis (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                       Photo by ISIphotos.com

It might not seem that long ago, but it has been eight years since Clint Mathis was terrorizing MLS defenders as one of the league's best attacking players and one of the best Americans to ever play in MLS.

Plenty has happened since Mathis' heyday in 2000 and 2001. He played in a World Cup, played in the German Bundesliga and came back to MLS, where he has played for a handful of clubs. This season, Mathis has enjoyed a resurgence and the 32-year-old showed off his recent run of good form on Saturday, delivering a goal and assist during Real Salt Lake's 6-0 drubbing of New England.

Mathis' goal was the best of the bunch for RSL, and should win MLS goal of the week in a walk.

Here's the goal:

What do you think of Mathis' goal? Have you been impressed with his play this year? Do you see Real Salt Lake being the favorite in the West, or do Chivas USA and Seattle still have the edge?

Share your thoughts below.

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32 Responses to Mathis turns back the clock with stunning strike

  1. Nutmegger says:

    Not only was it an amazing finish, but the service from Morales was also top-notch.

    NM

  2. Still one of my favorite players. Mathis Legend.

  3. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Good to see Mathis doing well. I was really sad to see that he didn’t make it in the Bundesliga after such a bright start there. I’m glad to have him back in MLS instead of at some crappy Greek club. I hope that he continues to have a great season and lead his club to big things.

  4. sean monaghan says:

    Shame he still cant grow the mohawk, this is something he would have done around 2002. He still shows his skill in the mls, just not as much and he lost some pace. I remember after the world cup he has some good teams looking after him (bayern munich,and I hate to say it but rangers)

  5. Robert Smith says:

    The guy can play soccer flat out… He was a great goal scorer back in the day, now he fills in as a great hard nosed midfielder that can distribute, play D and can still finish. Good for him.

    Chivas still has the edge, but I think RSL is a close second. I would be surprised if Seattle finished in finished in the top 3 in the conference… Not saying it can’t be done, but will know the middle and end of the season will be tough on them.

  6. Charlie Fiction says:

    Fantastic strike — say what you will about Mathis, but he still has the ability to make sublime plays seem ordinary.

  7. Wispy says:

    Fantastic strike, but I think my favorite part was Borchers getting the hell out of the way because he saw that a bomb was coming.

  8. JoeW says:

    1. Great finish by Mathis. To put it in perspective, while it took a ton of skill, it also was on a restart and he (Mathis) was unmarked with time to set up. Still, lovely work.

    2. Mathis has rebuilt his career. Partially that’s due to him. But I suspect Kreis (and the kind of club he’s built at RSL–a hard working, very gritty, hustle, tolerate no half-stepping) has a lot to do with it as well. I think there were too many previous coaches who should have known better and tended to treat him with the philosophy of “he’s capable of brilliance so we have to tolerate some beer belly/lack of work/inability to defend/walkabouts in a match”. And Kreis doesn’t tolerate any of that.

    3. RSL has been one of the most impressive clubs all season (heck–since preseason where they played a good schedule and were very impressive EVERY match). I felt about them this preseason like I did watching the Crew two preseasons ago: this club is coming together, they’re hungry and they’re under-rated.

    That said, until RSL proves they can be solid (not great, just solid) on the road, they’re not the best in the West. Houston (a fading giant), Chivas (how Preki gets it done, I’ll never know) and possibly even Seattle might be ahead of them unless RSL proves they can get 3 wins and about 5 ties on the road (or 14 points). Additionally, while I like Movsisyan and Findley, I think this club is like Columbus in that they don’t have the kind of finisher (ala Angel, Emilio) who is strong enough to carry them when they’re down, outplayed or hurt.

  9. now that is some serious timing!

  10. Northzax says:

    I’d just like to thank clint for helping my 9 man fantasy team rack up 382 points this week.

  11. Josh says:

    Cletus lives! Great to see Mathis scoring on amazing plays. He’s easily the most technicaly skilled player of his generation (the generation between Reyna/McBride on one hand, and Donovan on the other), but his work ethic was lacking, something that became apparent after his knee injury back in ’01(?). It looks like he’s in shape, working hard, and contributing for a playoff-caliber team, and I’m happy for him.

  12. SR says:

    Talk about exposing the Rev’s. No taking anything away from Stevie Nicol and his smoke and mirrors results with that depleted squad, but RSL just showed a lot of skeptics what they’re all about when healthy and playing their game. I’ll admit, each game I go to at Rio Tinto I scream so much garbage at Mathis because he’s the most frustrating man on the pitch usually, but the truth is he’s a freak. He can make things happen and Kries obviously sees that because he sits younger, talented attackers to keep Mathis in week in week out. I can’t believe I wasn’t there for the blow out! I’ll definitely be there when we destroy LA next week!

  13. Soccer Lee says:

    I agree with JoeW about Findley and Movsisyan. They are not the only answer though. Escalada came off the bench and scored and Espindola is supposed to be back this week. Espindola should have the potential for Golden Boot contender if he stays healthy and lays off the back flips.

    RSL fans are psyched to have him back!

  14. DC Josh says:

    Goal of the year easily. I don’t see how another goal can top this one. The technique needed to successfully pull that shot off is so hard. He took one right out of the Paul Scholes laser-volley-off-a-corner-kick. Fantastic.

  15. cammiev says:

    Oy, my poor Revs! I’m not sure we have enough bodies to field a full team, with all the injuries, but boy, that was awful…and RSL really looks like the real deal. Congrats to them.

  16. BlueWhiteLion says:

    pure class. That was not luck, and most guys would not finish it off like that. Don’t even bring up it was a restart and he wasn’t marked well. Holy crap, he went for it and buried it. ’nuff said.

  17. kpugs says:

    Nasty finish, but it doesn’t surprise me. His quickness, pace, and stamina were what made him great, but he’s always capable of some nasty goals.

    I think he scored 3 one recent season, but all were goals of the week? There was also the impressive half volley against L.A. in that epic RBNY/L.A. game, also with his left. I wish we still had him.

  18. Ryan says:

    So if Mathis can keep up a great scoring pace and continue play extremely well, does he deserve a spot on gold cup roster?

  19. Mike Caramba says:

    gross.

  20. Modibo says:

    It’s a deceptive goal because he takes it so nonchalantly. How incredibly difficult, though, to get that ball on frame! He basically just redirects it instead of trying to kill it, which would look much more dramatic but, 9 times out of 10, send the ball to the sky.

  21. dave says:

    talent like that is y i always picked mcbride / mathis up front on my fifa 02 video game instead of donavan / mcbride.

  22. Mike says:

    Ahhh, the old Clint Mathis….

    Remember the days when teams like Bayern Munich wanted him on their team?

  23. Thomas says:

    His goal against S. Korea is one of my favorite goals in national team history. And then there’s THAT goal where he basically beat the entire Dallas Burn and scored.

  24. Chosun says:

    That strike was ridiculous…

  25. fig says:

    Most couldn’t do that with their right foot, let alone their left (and supposedly weaker) foot.

  26. JP says:

    cletus lives!

  27. f4denz says:

    Mathis has been the most solid player for RSL’s offense this year with some incredible passing, good assists and a simply spectacular goal.

    RSL will challange for the top of the West, Chivas is the real deal but Seattle will show some cracks as the season moves along.

  28. jp992751 says:

    I would love to see a Cleetus and McBride duo in the gold cup.

  29. JesseMT says:

    With all the talk about MLS “parity”, it seems like the West is quickly turning into a very polarized conference, with three very good teams at the top (RSL, Seattle, Chivas) and three very bad teams at the bottom (Dallas, San Jose, LA). We’ll have to wait I think to see where Houston and Colorado fall. The East, by contrast, neither seems to have teams that totally suck nor teams that are eager to establish themselves as a conference favorite.

  30. Matt says:

    Ridiculous!!!!!!!

    Too damn bad he he believed his own hype and wasted his best years!

    He could have had a great career overseas with talent like that!

    Sad…really sad.

  31. fig says:

    Matt,
    his best years were not really wasted because of his attitude. It was his torn ACL that did more than anything else to keep him from greatness.

  32. jp992751 says:

    The ACL didn’t help but neither did the MLS refusing his bid from Bayern. One of the biggest clubs in the world and the MLS said no?