New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Danny Cepero made Major League Soccer history in his debut Saturday, scoring a goal from inside his own half in a 3-1 victory over Columbus Crew. Cepero, who became the first keeper in the league's 13-year history to score a goal, was only given his first MLS start after top goalkeeper Jon Conway was slapped with a 10-game suspension for a positive dope test. Conway and defender Jeff Parke tested positive for muscle-builder androstatriendione and boldenone metabolites, with both players claiming they had unwittingly taken the banned substances in an over-the-counter supplement.
Given his chance, Cepero certainly made the most of it. New York's Juan Pablo Angel opened the scoring at the start of the second half, then canceled out Steven Lenhart's equalizer. The 23-year-old knocked a free-kick upfield in the 83rd minute. It took a big bounce in the Crew penalty area over the head of keeper Andy Gruenebaum and into the net.
The victory kept the Red Bulls in charge of their playoff destiny with 39 points with one game to go in the regular season. Needing two wins from their final two regular-season games to secure a playoff berth, the Red Bulls were rocked this week by the drugs suspensions. The Red Bulls must win in Chicago on Thursday to insure their passage into the postseason.