Demonstrative goal celebrations are nothing new to soccer. But Sacramento Republic FC’s Darek Formella wasn’t just putting on a show after he scored the game-winner in a 2-1 home win Sunday over Rio Grande Valley.
After his 81st-minute goal, Formella walked slowly for a few steps before crumpling to his knees, then resting his head on the ground. Formella said in a Twitter post Wednesday he was emotional because his father had died just hours before the game and he hadn’t told anybody. Then came the goal. Then came the emotions.
Formella said his dad struggled with cancer for years before he died. Formella is in Poland with his family and will miss Republic FC’s next game.
The team flooded Twitter with support Wednesday, including a note from team president Ben Gumpert.
“We are with you @Darekformella9 and your entire family. Much love. Much strength.”