Trujillo’s Big Day
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, April 26, 2011) - When he found out he was going to be starting on the bench for this weekend’s game against San Jose, third-year midfielder Mariano Trujillo began dividing his focus. Of course he was ready to play a role as a substitute, but Chivas USA also had a reserve game later that afternoon.
“You have to be a professional,” said Trujillo. “It was in my mind that if you’re not in the starting lineup, you’re probably going to have to play in the reserve game. So I was ready for that. I was thinking obviously about helping the first team, but I was ready to go and play in the reserve game too.”
Trujillo was correct in his prediction that he’d be involved in the reserve game. But what nobody could predict was just how memorable the afternoon would become for the Mexican midfielder.
As he entered the first-team match in the 61st minute, the score was 1-1 and the result hung in the balance. Combining with fellow substitute Justin Braun, Trujillo played a big role in helping the Goats grab their first win of the season. He helped out in attack and defense, and ultimately stole the headlines with a late winner, the first goal of his MLS career.
It came in the 85th minute. Rookie Zarek Valentin played a through ball down the right flank to Justin Braun who broke towards goal. Trujillo was in the center circle, but knew he had to get to the box. He started a long sprint towards goal, and was in perfect position to tap in a rebound after Braun’s shot was saved.
“After two years here in MLS, to score my first goal was emotional,” said Trujillo. “Plus that goal helped us to get our first victory of the season, so it was great.”
Less than an hour later, Trujillo was starting for the Chivas USA reserves against their counterparts from San Jose. Only twenty minutes into the game, Trujillo put himself on another score sheet. It was just that kind of day.
“It was awesome,” said Trujillo. “I didn’t even really think about it. I was lucky- it was a great layoff from Victor [Estupiñan] and I just smashed it. Fortunately for me, it was in the net.”
Trujillo played the first 60 minutes of the reserve match, finishing his day with a unique stat line: two separate games played, ninety total minutes and two goals.
After playing as a defender his first two seasons in MLS, Trujillo has moved to midfield this season, a position he thinks will help him score more goals.
“Actually midfield is my original position,” said Trujillo. “I played that position in Mexico a lot of times. I can play as a right back, and I like it, but it’s always better to go forward. I think I’m going to have the chance to score more goals because I’m trying to get into the box and get on those crosses.”