San Jose’s Cordell Cato reflects on magic moment against Norwich City

Cordell Cato in action against Norwich City.

Cordell Cato in action against Norwich City. - Credit: Archant

San Jose's Cordell Cato hopes his match-winning strike to sink the Canaries can launch his MLS career.

The 21-year-old had only played four minutes of league action for the Quakes since May 4 but grabbed his chance to impress with three of San Jose's senior stars on Gold Cup duty for their respective countries.

Cato pounced on Russell Martin's underhit back pass to draw Mark Bunn and slot coolly underneath the Norwich City keeper to sink Chris Hughton's side.

'As a young player, it's really tough, but you've just got to be a big man about it and just wait for an opportunity like this one,' he said. 'That one opportunity you get, you've just got to prepare yourself, be ready for it.

'And when you do get it, you've got to be able to take it. I saw an opportunity to put it in the back of the net with my first touch and I took it.'

Quakes' interim head coach Mark Watson was delighted his depleted squad overcame their lowly status in the MLS to inflict an opening USA tour defeat on the Canaries. The hosts' greater sharpess and fitness saw them largely restrict City to a couple of long range efforts in the opening period and a series of half chances for the visitors.

'Everyone's playing for something in a friendly. We're playing for pride, we're playing for our fans, to show that we can compete against a Premier League team,' he said. 'Every player is trying to show that they deserve more playing time or deserve to be in the starting 11 on a Saturday. The goal was something we have been working on.

Most Read

'We knew that if we did it well, we'd get opportunities, and it was a great example. I'm sure the defender would like to have had no pressure on the pass back, literally, but it shows that Cordell was in the right spot and he was prepared to pressure the ball and do the running. He got a just reward.'