August 18, 2012
Back from a memorable performance vs. Spain, Gaudette talks about playing the No. 1 team
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Bill Gaudette: “Any game is the same for me but I knew I was going to be busy. Every game is the same for me but yeah – that was a talented team we faced.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – It has been a whirlwind month for Red Bulls goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
Traded to New York on July 13, Gaudette has performed very well in goal for his new team, parlaying that form into a sensational midweek showing for the Puerto Rican National Team against Spain. Gaudette stood on his head throughout the game, facing more than 30 shots in the friendly against the No. 1 team in the world.
Despite the loss, tiny Puerto Rico’s display of resilience against an international juggernaut made worldwide headlines.
“It was a great experience to go against a roster like that, considered maybe one of the best teams ever assembled,” Gaudette told BigAppleSoccer.com.
“We did a lot better than people thought we would. It was a stepping stone for Puerto Rico and the entire national team.”
He went from a backup in Los Angeles to a starting role in New York and now, the player who stunned the world in holding mighty Spain to just two goals. Considering that, last year, Spain defeated the United States by a 4-0 score line, Puerto Rico’s display was beyond impressive.
Puerto Rico entered the game No. 138 in the world rankings. Gaudette said that Spain was “probably looking at this as just a glorified scrimmage.”
“Obviously our goal was to win the game but we realized what the circumstances were but we knew it, we had to play a perfect game to keep it close. Look at the two rosters - we played incredibly to make it at 2-1. Tuesday night? Yeah, it was nerve wracking a little bit,” Gaudette said.
“Any game is the same for me but I knew I was going to be busy. Every game is the same for me but yeah – that was a talented team we faced.”
There’s something for Gaudette to prove this year, although he won’t admit it. With the Galaxy, he was a backup and now as a Red Bull, he’s the starter only because Ryan Meara has a hip injury. Wednesday night’s display and his strong showings with the Red Bulls shows a player who can start in Major League Soccer.
Now in his fourth year in the league, Gaudette came into 2012 with Los Angeles with ony 16 starts over that stretch. Now, he has become one of the league’s hottest goalkeepers but he says he isn’t playing with a chip on his shoulder.
The Red Bulls host the Portland Timbers on Sunday at 7 p.m.
“I try not to have that kind of outlook because you start thinking too much and bad things happen,” Gaudette said.
“I try to be a hard working guy, I’m a blue collar guy. I just put my head down and work and let that be my focus for each and every day. That’s all I can really control.”