A second post in one day? This may seem impossible for wrong side of the pond, especially considering that it’s sometimes a struggle for me to pop out two in a week. But my regular readers know this kind of event can mean only one thing: Chris Rolfe must have done something special.
And special is exactly what the native Daytonian did this past Sunday at the Energi Nord Arena in Aalborg, Denmark.
Squaring off against Odense BK, the side just north of them in the table, Rolfe’s AaB were in desperate need of a win. Having taken just one point from their last five matches, the club were on a dangerous slide of form with the winter break just over a month away. If they harbored any hope of pushing for European places in the spring, a reversal of fortunes would be needed to help lift the team’s spirits.
Perhaps it was this that drove Mr. Rolfe to put in such an impressive performance, as after the final whistle was blown, the scoresheet credited two goal scoring tallies to the American winger. The following is a recount in typical ESPN Soccernet fashion; if you’d like to skip the formalities, jump to the bottom for the video highlights.
His first came through a coolly finished 14th minute penalty, after Rolfe was brought down in the box by OB’s Hans Andreason. But Odense BK levelled just five minutes later through a penalty of their own, finished off by former Danish international Chris Sørensen.
Rolfe came out of the break looking to settle the affair quickly, lofting a through ball pass just over the bar in the 57th minute. But OB weren’t about to let the northerners walk away with all of three points that easy, and the teams traded chances several times throughout the match.
But in the 84th minute, Rolfe received a pass from Rasmus Würtz at the top of left corner box. He took a strong touch towards the edge of the box, and fired a left footed shot just inside the far post. AaB managed to keep OB at bay until the final whistle, giving the American the game winner and all of the glory.
And now the video that most of you likely just skipped down to:
The bonus for this video? A post-game soundbite from Chris… in English. For those of you who have tried to follow Rolfe’s career with AaB, you’ll know this is a complete rarity for anything coming out of Denmark.
The bigger picture here is that Rolfe’s brace this past weekend will hopefully be enough to catch the eye of new National Team coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Considering the USMNT has had a bit of a problem producing of late, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to bring in someone with some goal-scoring form. The November friendlies are just around the corner, and with MLS teams knee deep in the playoffs, how many clubs will be willing to give up their top strikers for friendly international duty at such a critical time? To me, it seems like the perfect time for the new gaffer to recall Rolfe to camp.
And while the pair of goals goes a long way to make it hard for the Jürgs (or anyone else for that matter) to ignore the former UD Flyer,he’s just happy to have helped AaB get back on the right track. As the interview showed, he’s just a humble lad.