Mehdi Ballouchy's Goal Celebration a Tribute to the Fans

03 April 1:05 pm

Mehdi Ballouchy's Goal Celebration a Tribute to the Fans

By Frank Della Femina

Watch: Ballouchy's Goal

It didn’t take Mehdi Ballouchy long to find the back of the net in Saturday’s match against the Montreal Impact.

Ballouchy first took to the pitch when Head Coach Hans Backe subbed him on in the 69th minute in place of midfielder Joel Lindpere. Three minutes later, Ballouchy buried a beautifully placed flick from Captain Thierry Henry to extend the Red Bulls’ lead to 4-2.

“I saw Titi kind of make a run near post and I knew he was going to just flick it,” Ballouchy said, “and by the time he flicked it I read the play and got into that space and was able to finish.”

Ballouchy’s goal stood as the proverbial “nail in the coffin,” allowing the Red Bulls to pull away with the lead before Henry capped off the day with his third goal of the match to secure the 5-2 win.

Since returning home to face the Colorado Rapids on Mar. 25, the Red Bulls have stressed the notion of turning Red Bull Arena into a “fortress.” Ballouchy’s goal undoubtedly hammered that point home, while his goal celebration carried a message of its own.

“It’s for the fans,” Ballouchy said with a laugh. “It’s their chant they do, so I was just doing my version of what they do.”

Ballouchy’s first notch of the season was also named a nominee in MLSsoccer.com’s Goal of the Week voting. Reporters have their say in Player of the Week voting, but Goal of the Week voting is the fans’ turn. Vote for Ballouchy and help the Red Bulls secure two consecutive weeks of Goal of the Week honors.

The Red Bulls return home to Red Bull Arena Apr. 14 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes for a 7pm ET kickoff. The first 10,000 fans through the gate will receive a Thierry Henry poster. Out of those 10,000, ten random posters will be signed by Henry. Great seats start as low as $20. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.