When someone is on a breakaway, coming straight at me and theres no one between us, I sense that a big chance is coming up, a chance to prove that thats the reason Im out there, to stop a play like that. Thats pretty much the situation I live for.
I feel like Im more on the offensive than defensive when the striker is coming at me, even if I am the goalkeeper. I try to dictate what he does. I try to play him into my hand by making him go to the side that I want him to go to. When I do this, I pretty much have him, I have the advantage.
While this is going on, I dont want to think about or be telling myself what to do because that means my minds not focused on what Im doing. I have to really concentrate on the situation. Theres nothing in my head except just focusing, not even the roar of the crowd. Afterward, maybe three or four seconds after I stop the ball or the ball is in the net, the noise of the crowd starts to come back into my head.
Its total joy and exuberance when I block the kick. Its everything that Ive worked for, everything I predicted. I save the goal and possibly the game. I mean, its a breakaway and hes supposed to score, plain and simple. So if I do my job and come up big, then my team has a good chance of winning.
If he scores against me, ugh. I feel like I could have done something different. I feel like I should have done something different. There arent many goals that go past me that I think, "Oh that was a good shot. He scored on me and hats off to him." Its pretty much, "Had I done something a little different, I would of had it." Its kind of a let down.
Once Im scored on, I have just 20 seconds or so to think about it while the referees setting the ball up at midfield for the kickoff. Then, all of a sudden, I just block it out, because if I continue to think about the goal, chances are Ill be scored on again.
Tim Liner is a goalkeeper for the San Jose Clash.