David Ochoa’s Bewitching Season Of Young Shithousery Continues With Epic Upset Of SKC

RSL shocked SKC 2-1 thanks to Bobby Wood's winner in second-half stoppage time.

MLS needs more David Ochoas. It needs more players that “enjoy being the villain” and who aren’t — in a league that prides itself on providing the joyful unpredictably of parity — afraid of taking the spotlight and shining it firmly on themselves.

It makes the atmosphere in stadiums better. It makes matchups more intriguing. It creates headlines.

“It’s funny for me. I like humor,” Ochoa said on Friday. “I think it’s funny we’re shutting a lot of mouths up.” 

Ochoa did just that to over 34,000 mouths at Seattle’s Lumen Field in the first round last Tuesday, collecting a yellow card for time-wasting as early as the 50th minute before denying Kelyn Rowe in the shootout.  

Ochoa then put all MLS analysts on blast for doubting RSL, although, to be fair to MLS analysts, it’s always difficult to predict a team attempting zero shots over 120 minutes of action and still advancing (Pablo Mastroeni’s dream match: stats losing to the human spirit). 

Ochoa quickly took on the role of pantomime villain during Sunday’s Western Conference semifinal against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. Before the game, he made a point of saying, “In my opinion Seattle’s a better team… I think Seattle was a tougher opponent, so I think we’re all confident going into Sporting KC.” 

His every touch was widely jeered, and he got up to the same antics before Johnny Russell’s 24th-minute penalty following a preposterously stupid foul by Aaron Herrera — Ochoa beckoned Russell forward like Neo encountering Agent Smith. 

Russell, however, sent the 20-year-old keeper the wrong way.  

Ochoa was back on the radar of SKC fans in the 58th minute when shoving Dániel Sallói in the back — a dangerous move considering another yellow would rule him out of the conference final if RSL found a way back.

But Sporting really didn’t trouble Ochoa’s goal after the break, and Salt Lake got a deserved equalizer in the 72nd minute from substitute Anderson Julio.

From there it entirely felt like this was RSL’s game to lose. Kansas City was playing like trash, and manager Peter Vermes was absolutely losing it on the sideline (I don’t think any broadcast on ABC has ever picked up more f-bombs).

Then, one minute into second-half stoppage time, step forward Bobby Wood — yes, the entirely forgotten Bobby Wood.

Since arriving at RSL, the 29-year-old had only managed two goals in 18 appearances. None of that matters now because goal No. 3 has his side traveling to Portland for the Western Conference final.

Ochoa let The Blue Hell have it, laughing and shushing a crowd that had counted off the seconds of every goalkick and punt despite the fact that RSL was clearly the better team. The visitors didn't need to time waste.

The Western Conference final at Providence Park is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4. 

Videos you might like