It's soccer's equivalent of a blue moon. It's totally unexpected, it's instant headline news, and it's a moment you'll remember as long as you live.
No matter the profession, there is always an element of good fortune attached to being in the right place at the right time. From finance to football, there is no more satisfying reward than when risking it all, you hit the jackpot.
Will Hesmer is a good goalkeeper. He's tall, athletic, agile and confident. At the age of 28, he can probably look forward to another 10 years in the professional ranks. But when the dust settles, he'll know his career day has come and gone.
He has written his own chapter in soccer's folklore. Whatever happens over the next decade, Hesmer will forever be remembered as the goalie that scored in the final minute to earn his team a vital point in Toronto. Painful though it may be for TFC fans, it was an "I was there" moment.
Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster are more common than goalkeepers scoring from open play. This was no freak, wind-assisted punt from one end to the other. This was a cool, calculated finish from a player who should have been 90 yards away.
Every tyke's dream
Hesmer's strike was a victory for goalkeepers everywhere. Ever wondered what prompts players to take up the most dangerous position on the field? What's the motivation to put oneself in the line of fire and be forced to dive in at the feet of charging players?
We're just not good enough to play 'out'. As someone who has owned a pair of goalkeeping gloves since the age of 10, let me offer this explanation: Keepers are dreamers - as kids we all wanted to be the star of the show - the goal-poaching, attention-grabbing centre forward.
Unfortunately, God hands out natural talent on a strictly frugal basis. That's not to say goalies don't have talent, but it's true to say, during my impressionable years, volunteers for the position were in chronically short supply.
As something of a lanky, stick insect of a boy, I was perfect for the job. Never mind there were no other applicants. I was on the team. I belonged, and that was all that mattered. It may have been a dirty job, but someone had to do it.
Essentially, all goalkeepers are frustrated strikers. The evolution of keeper and scorer, to some extent, runs along parallel lines. Being tall and brave are common elements as is a flair for the theatrical. The need to stand out is part and parcel of both positions.
Goalies can't wait to show off their 'silky' skills. While outfield players shy away from going in goal, keepers are champing at the bit to get involved. We're a bunch of crazy optimists who think dribbling around a couple of opponents is child's play.
Until we lose possession. Only as the ball is being rolled into an empty net do we realize the folly of our decision. Clumsiness with the ball at our feet is a disease that afflicts most goalkeepers, which is why the game's law makers let us use our hands.
Suddenly we are in our element. There is no better feeling than flying through the air, knowing the slightest fingertip will divert a goal bound effort to safety. Tipping a dipping, curling free kick over the bar is also highly satisfying.
Hero at opposite end of the pitch
Then there is the piece de resistance - the saved penalty. According the laws of physics, the goalkeeper should never have a chance. Yet the one-on-one psychological warfare between goalie and striker that precedes the spot kick is often key to the outcome.
The goalie can only be a hero in these situations. He's not supposed to stop the penalty - just do his duty and retrieve it from the back of the net. In that rare moment when he does guess right, he stands 10 feet tall and could move mountains with his hands tied behind his back.
Will Hesmer was once a Toronto FC player. He was snagged in the 2006 Expansion Draft but Mo Johnston never wanted him. Within hours, he traded the journeyman to Columbus where he's established himself as a dependable last line of defence ever since.
Life in Ohio has treated Hesmer well. He's been part of the most successful chapter in the Crew's history, winning the MLS Cup in 2008 and the Supporter's Shield two years running. Scoring against the team, which discarded him four years ago, made the moment all the sweeter.
In all likelihood Hesmer will never score another goal in professional soccer. He'll be fine with that. Because for that split second, when the ball fell invitingly at his feet, he had the coolness, composure and belief to take his chance and fulfill all our fantasies as would be goal heroes.
Goalies everywhere, rejoice!
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