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Cepero adjusting to newfound celebrity


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Looking to find a way to have your Facebook wall blow up? You could hope for some spam or you could just score an 81-yard free kick as a goalkeeper in your professional debut at Giants Stadium.

“I still don’t know half the people who have been texting me,” New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Danny Cepero said. “I get a lot of 516 area codes so I know they’re from Long Island, from Nassau County, but I’m not sure who (they are). I’m just trying to thank everybody as much as possible. I’ve gotten e-mails from family, friends…my wall is inundated with congratulations from people I just met or barely know of.”

While he is preparing for tonight’s critical regular-season finale against Chicago, Cepero said he is having trouble grasping how global his goal, the first by a Major League Soccer goalkeeper, has become.

The Baldwin, L.I., native received an e-mail from former Red Bulls goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus, who joked about always telling Cepero to “kick with a purpose.” And he was told that one of Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s friends in Serbia read about the goal in a newspaper there.

“I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s a little weird,'” Cepero said. “I think it’s one of those things that will be around for a few days and then something else a little more important will take over.”

The soft-spoken Cepero is almost embarrassed by the notoriety he’s received from his 81-yard lofting free kick that bounced over the head of Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. He said his focus is on the Fire, but he still answered questions for 20-plus minutes at Tuesday’s training session, mostly about his goal.

“The goal aside from Saturday, consistency is the focus for me right now,” Cepero said. “I think I played pretty well Saturday and it’s just important to play well and do what I have to do so we can get into the playoffs and get a win over in Chicago.”

Cepero isn’t letting the attention get to his head. But in case he was, his mother, Ana, is there to bring him back to earth.

“Stay focused, stay grounded and don’t let Cuauhtémoc score on you,” she said in an e-mail.

Scoring a second career isn’t necessarily in Cepero’s plans tonight. Helping the Red Bulls clinch a playoff berth, while also winning over his soccer-crazed mother, are.

“She’s a huge Cuauhtémoc Blanco fan, he’s like her favorite player,” Cepero said of his mother, who is of Mexican descent. “There’s a conflict of interest there. She also loves Brian McBride. I’m like, ‘What about Danny Cepero?'”


  1. so is this guy gonna play for USA or Mexico? The USA needs a good goal scorer. When’s the last time we had a guy score directly from a free kick from 25 yards much less 81?!

  2. Here’s my question, and I’m not sure if Ives answered this already or not. If Cepero (knock on wood) puts together another good performance tonight and in the playoffs (hopefully), can RBNY cut Conway? I know that he got signed for 4 years, but does that mean that his money is guaranteed and that they have to pay him through his suspension? Or can they cut him if they’d like as soon as the seasons over?

  3. LOL @ “don’t let Cuauhtemoc score on you.” My grandmother (also of Mexican descent) knows Blanco, and nothing else about soccer.

  4. Joe K- Then we either need to put Parke in the middle, or get rid of him, and try to get someone for him, because when he is outside, too many people get around him. I would be fine with having him stay in the middle, but not outside.

  5. shane — parke is an excellent central defender.

    i agree that his play suffers when he’s sent out wide, but he’s still better than many of the mls defenders out there.

  6. agree with kpugs — fluke goal isn’t a big deal.

    but he made two really amazing saves. if he keeps it up in goal, the gk controversy is for real.

  7. I’m not a big fan of Parke. When ever he plays the Right Back, he always veers too much towards the middle, and let’s players run behind him wide open. I do like Cepero though, and hope he has another good game. If the defense can hold Chicago to forced shots, Cepero should be fine.

  8. Conway is a waste of space. He had no confidence in goal consistantly. You would never know what to expect on game day. If cepero, can use this historic goal as a motivation to stay good and give confidence to his backiline, i think great things are ahead of us!

  9. I’ve never been completely sold on Conway, so I wouldn’t be sad if he was cut loose though he was a solid keeper for most of the year.

    On the other hand, I don’t see why they’d get rid of Parke. Give him a contract that starts after his suspension and get a deal on this upcoming season. He’s a very good MLS defender, and isn’t too expensive.

  10. Who cares, it was a fluke, what is the big deal.

    Oh wait, that’s not me, that’s the haters. I like Cepero. I think Louis might be right, I really do think Conway is good but let’s say Cepero finishes this season (and hopefully the playoffs) with a string of good performances. It’s almost a given that Conway will be cut loose just based on saving tens of thousands of bucks. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

  11. Looks like Cepero has achieved cult status overnight. Good for him. Now I hope he’s just as focused tonight as he was on Saturday. The three points and playoff spot are right there for us.

  12. Que viva Cepero! Por lo menos, por una noche mas… despues veremos si las reacciones siguen 😉 Tengo confianza que si, vamos Metro!


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