Clearly, Clarence Goodson hopes all the reminiscing will come with three points for the Earthquakes when he returns to his MLS roots.
When the Earthquakes challenge FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday to kick off a pivotal three-game road swing, Goodson, 31, will face the club that gave him his start. The 6-foot-4 center back, who has fortified the Quakes back line since his debut in a 2-0 win over Chivas USA on Aug. 3, was the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2004 by the then-Dallas Burn. He played his first four seasons in Dallas.
In terms of matchups on Saturday, Goodson and Victor Bernardez will likely have to deal with physical Panamanian forward Blas Perez.
FC Dallas currently boasts two of Goodson’s former teammates from a talented 2007 squad. Fellow veterans Kenny Cooper and Ramon Nunez are back with the club. Goodson holds fond memories of his time in Frisco.
“We had an extremely good team before with a lotta, lotta young guys sprinkled in with some of the veterans," Goodson recalled. "Now we’re the veterans that are sprinkled in, and so it’s a totally different mindset in the way that we approach the game. … It’s always great to see old teammates again. Great memories: We went to battle together, so you always hold those things dear to your heart, but Saturday will be a different story competing against them. Of course, I hope we come out on top.”
Goodson recalls his rookie year in Dallas being one of transition for the club, which was coming off a disappointing season.
“It’s always difficult when you’re a young player, not living at home,” he said. “I think they did a good job, and I think that I did a good job in learning from them and really becoming a pro and having a good career.”
A fan favorite in Dallas back in the day, Goodson saw his role increase in 2005 when he started in 28 of 29 matches. He also started in 27 of 30 matches in 2007 as Dallas' top defender when the team made the playoffs. After leaving the club, he had six productive years abroad, three apiece with IK Start-Norway and Brondby IF-Denmark.
A standout with Team USA in the Gold Cup, Goodson is not sure how the Dallas fans will react to him in his first game back.
“I always really appreciated the fans when I was there,” he said. “I think that they were always very supportive of us. I have no reason to think that there would be any negativity between myself and the fans, but you never know. I’m playing for a different team now. … No matter what happens, I know we had a good past together and that’s what I remember the most.”
Moreover, Goodson hopes to catch up with old friends before the Earthquakes head off to Guatemala to face CD Heredia on Aug. 28 in the CONCACAF Champions League.
-- Richter Media