Knighton Shines in Victory Over Chivas
Brad Knighton will continue to show up for training and work just as hard as ever.
He takes nothing for granted.
Especially in what has been a bizarre season for the Union’s backup goalkeeper.
Knighton and Brian Perk teamed up for a shutout against Celtic F.C. on July 14. Then Knighton got his big break when he was named as the starter Aug. 8 at FC Dallas.
But he received a red card early in the match when he tackled Brek Shea inside the penalty box after fumbling a through ball.
“I shot myself in the foot and I knew it,” Knighton said. “I had to come back and get back to work and do what I was doing and prove to the technical staff I could do it.”
Knighton got another shot and boy did he deliver in a 1-0 victory over Chivas de Guadalajara Wednesday night at PPL Park. He made eight saves, including a couple of spectacular diving stops to preserve the shutout.
It’s the second clean sheet of the season for Philadelphia in a high-profile international friendly and the first by a single goalie for a whole match. The Union are still looking for their first shutout in league play.
Knighton stated his case against a quality opponent.
“It feels great to get a shutout,” said Knighton. “We split one against Celtic. To get one in this game is really nice. The guys did a great job in front of me and I was able to make some saves. It definitely is a confidence-booster for me. I’m going to build on it and keep on going forward.”
How tough has it been to wait for another chance?
“Yeah, there are days when it’s hard, but you have to come to work and prepare like you’re going to play,” Knighton said. “I have kept a positive attitude all the way through, and hopefully I’ll get more chances. I’m very confident in my ability.”
So are his teammates.
“We feel very confident with Chris and Brad,” said defender Michael Orozco Fiscal. “Brad did a great job tonight. I thought we played well in front of him, too. I was very happy to get the shutout for us as a club. Brad deserved it because he made some very difficult saves against a very good team.”
Philadelphia will host the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday. Regardless of who's in net, Knighton will treat the rest of the week like he’s playing.
“I will be ready for whatever the staff needs of me,” Knighton said. “Hopefully, I’ll get more chances as I said. If Chris is in there, I will support him all the way. I’m just going to keep putting the work in.”