Stouffer: Now that the pregame work is done, we can finally catch up. I’ve had this [Major League Soccer] game circled on the calendar—two Midd alums in the same press box, in the same role as directors of communications—since I joined D.C. United.
3′ NICK LABROCCA (RAPIDS) FOULS AND RECEIVES A YELLOW CARD.
Lindholm: Yellow…that’s not a good start. So, Craig, we’ve known each other since I got into MLS seven years ago, and you noticed I was a Middlebury grad. How did you come to the game?
Stouffer: I didn’t play soccer in college, but it was a rare home game or NESCAC postseason visit to Williams when I wasn’t on the sideline. MLS was in its first year when I began my senior year, a time when I wasn’t sure about my own path—so I decided to carve out an unlikely career writing about the game. As you know, I covered soccer for a while before landing this gig this year.
12′ GOAL! UNITED 1, RAPIDS 0. LUIS SILVA GOAL, TAYLOR KEMP ASSIST.
Lindholm: Nice! They’re supposed to be sending me out on a high note! (This is Lindholm’s last game with the Rapids. He has accepted the position of assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts’s men’s program.)
Stouffer: Silva is the future of the game in the U.S., I believe. He’s of Mexican heritage, raised in the U.S., and starred in college at UC Santa Barbara.
14′ SUBSTITUTION, RAPIDS: JARED WATTS REPLACES DREW MOOR DUE TO INJURY.
Lindholm: That’s trouble—Moor’s our captain.
Stouffer: How about you? What made you stay in the game after playing at Midd?
Lindholm: Coach Saward doesn’t just teach you how to play soccer, he also instills in you a great love for the sport. I had followed MLS since the day it started, so after graduation I wanted to join the league and help its growth.
45’+4 FIRST HALF ENDS: UNITED 1, RAPIDS 0.
Lindholm: It seems like you’re getting into MLS just as it’s ready to hit the big time. Did that play a role in joining D.C.?
Stouffer: Absolutely. As a reporter, I spent a decade investing myself in the sport—now I get to do the same on behalf of Major League Soccer. It’s an amazing opportunity.
46′ SECOND HALF BEGINS.
Stouffer: So with that being said, why are you leaving MLS now?
Lindholm: In 10 years, there will be more teams, and more jobs in coaching, scouting, analysis, and business. At UMass, I’ll study the game and also get a graduate degree. There might be a new role for me in MLS down the line.
52′ GOAL! UNITED 1, RAPIDS 1. DILLON SERNA GOAL, JARED WATTS ASSIST.
Lindholm: What a strike, from 40 yards! That will be on Sports Center in the morning!
Stouffer: Think you’ll miss MLS, where you see skill like that every week?
Lindholm: Definitely. But I’m joining a crowd of Midd grads in college coaching and helping foster passion for the sport in younger players. That’s exciting, too.
57′ FABIAN ESPINDOLA (UNITED) HITS THE POST.
Stouffer: Just missed! That might’ve taken Goal of the Week away from Serna had it gone in.
Lindholm: We’re living dangerously here.
67′ GOAL! UNITED 2, RAPIDS 1. LUIS SILVA GOAL, SEAN FRANKLIN ASSIST.
Stouffer: There it is!
81′ GOAL! UNITED 3, RAPIDS 1. CHRIS ROLFE GOAL, TAYLOR KEMP ASSIST.
Lindholm: You know, this feels like my senior spring at Midd: trying to savor all the moments—even the negative ones, like a D.C. goal—because I know things are about to change.
86′ GOAL! UNITED 4, RAPIDS 1. FABIAN ESPINDOLA GOAL, DAVID ESTRADA ASSIST.
Lindholm: Can’t you tell your guys to let me finish my thought before scoring again?
Stouffer: I’ll let them know.
90’+1 GOAL! UNITED 4, RAPIDS 2. DESHORN BROWN GOAL, DILLON POWERS ASSIST.
Lindholm: There it is: a consolation goal as a going away present. Congrats on the win, Craig, and on joining MLS!
Stouffer: Thank you! Congratulations—well—on leaving MLS for your new opportunity. And good game.
Lindholm: Good game.
FINAL: UNITED 4, RAPIDS 2.