HAMILTON – If you haven’t had a chance to see Forge FC attacker Kadell Thomas’ goal from Saturday’s 3-1 win over Valour FC, you must have been living under a rock.
Thomas’ incredible solo effort was posted on Forge FC’s Twitter page two separate times: The initial angle of the miraculous play from OneSoccer’s broadcast and the angle from the goal line which was posted on July 22nd. From Forge’s social media page alone, which boasts nearly 7,000 followers, those two clips of Thomas’ goal has combined for over 60,000 views.
On Instagram, the hits are even bigger.
The popular football digital and social media agency “433” posted the goal on their Instagram account, where it reached nearly 2.5 million views in just 2 days.
What did Kadell Thomas think about all the craze over his 94th-minute goal?
“It’s been crazy,” he told CanPL.ca. “I thought it was a special goal for myself, obviously, but … I didn’t realize how special it was until I started getting that type of media attention. It’s felt really cool.”
Due to all the attention Thomas’ effort has been drawing, the writers at CanPL.ca were intrigued about the comparison between the goal against Valour and a fellow Forge FC strikers goal from a win earlier in the week.
CPL leading scorer Tristan Borges sent the fans at Tim Hortons Field into a frenzy after hitting a perfect “Olimpico” from the right corner in Forge’s 2-0 victory over HFX Wanderers FC – that’s a goal scored directly from a corner kick.
It begs the question not only within the staff at CanPL Editorial, but with some of the Forge FC staff and players, too: Which goal was better?
It was nearly a clean sweep.
“I’ll watch both of them a few times over, they’re both pretty special,” Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis said. “Kadell’s goal is definitely something different. It’s skill, it’s a little bit of grace when you look at what he had done, and the finish – I don’t think you can come up with the stuff he did. Not to take anything away from Borges, but that’s stuff we work on; Kadell’s is intuition. That’s who he is and what we want to see from players in this league.”
How about Borges and Thomas’ teammates?
“Kadell’s. One hundred percent. One … hundred … percent!” said defender Dominic Samuel, while laughing, “It was amazing. It was unbelievable, especially in the last few minutes of the game.”
Emery Welshman, who scored the winning goal in Saturday’s match said much of the same: “Kadell’s goal. I mean, I feel it was just more individual skill, of course, to get by the players the way he did. But taking nothing away from Tristan’s finish, that was a tough goal to score, but I like the solo runs a bit better than set pieces.”
Even being part of potentially the best duo in the CPL, Forge FC captain Kyle Bekker couldn’t side with his partner in crime Borges for this particular talking point: “I think you’ve got to give it to Kadell. Obviously an Olimpico is something special and something you don’t see every single week, but I think Kadell one-upped him.”
What say you, Giuliano Frano?
“Kadell’s and it’s not even close!”
The versatile Forge defender-midfielder didn’t leave it at that, though, taking a friendly shot at Borges: “Tristan got lucky.”
While Borges and Kadell were taking their own shots, Forge goalkeeper Triston Henry was in the opposite goal for each game; perhaps he saw things differently?
“It’s gotta be Kadell!” Henry said. “Taking out two guys and then lobbing it over the goalkeeper … Oh, it was still a great goal for Tristan, but 100% I’m making that stop.”
The only person who didn’t say Thomas’ goal was better, was Kadell Thomas himself.
“Um, well I think (Tristan) Borges goal added some insurance in that win against Halifax, so I guess I’ll give him that. That’s what we’re going to do,” Thomas told CanPL.ca, while holding back a chuckle.
Even though Thomas’ goal has got a ton of exposure on social media over the past couple days, it was a goal earlier in the week which made the most noise south of the border.
York9 FC’s captain Manuel Aparicio’s screamer of a goal from just beyond half reached over 7,400 views on OneSoccer’s twitter page while also reaching No. 9 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Night from July 17th.
The crew over at Centre Circle LIVE! debated which of these three goals were most worthy of merit in their latest episode, too.
Regardless of preference, Smyrniotis affirmed these highlight-reel plays have a huge effect on the growth of the CPL.
“All the attention we get for the league anywhere across this world is fantastic because its a new league, and we know there is a lot of good things happening on the field,” Smyrniotis said. “We’re seeing it week-in, week-out as coaches, as players, I think those who are following the league as a media aspect see that, but we can start getting some more attention and make people understand across the world that you know, we have a league that’s got some great players and can get those people to start seeing what we have here.”
Thomas hopes his, Borges’ and Aparicio’s goals can potentially inspire the rest of the league during the Fall season, too.
“It’s one of those things where a lot of goals have been popping up lately and making headlines, getting really good coverage for the league – I think having something like that going into the Fall season gives some really good motivation for the players to do something special on the pitch,” Thomas concluded.