Overshadowed in the hoopla of the Crew's dominating 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo was the debut of highly touted midfielder Romain Gall, who was assigned to the Black & Gold via weighted lottery on August 7. Two full weeks of training later and the 19-year-old was on the Crew Stadium pitch making his professional debut.
"Honestly, it was an unbelievable moment," said the French-born American midfielder. "The things you dream about as a kid. I was just happy to be able to make my debut."
Although he only played two minutes, Gall made an immediate impact upon stepping onto the pitch. With his first touch, Gall intercepted a pass along the left sideline and dribbled around three Houston players before playing a pass to Aaron Schoenfeld, who was called offside by the slimmest of margins. It was the type of run that reminded observers why the United States youth international is so highly regarded.
"My first touch, I just saw what I had to do on the field and just eliminated players and tried to move up the field," Gall said after the match. "I was unlucky with the offside call, but it is what it is."
The scoreline at the time provided the perfect circumstances for Gall to make his debut, as Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter has said numerous times that Gall profiles as a longer-term project for his side. In preparing for moments much like Saturday against Houston, Gall has been trying to soak up all he can from his teammates.
"Just watching those guys play, you always can learn," said Gall. "Whether it's just looking at their movement off the ball or their touches on the ball, you can always learn from those kinds of players."
Against Houston, Gall put what he had learned so far to practice, fighting through what he called "good nerves" to make an impressive debut. He even earned both a post-match radio interview and a chant from the Nordecke after the match. It was all part of a night that Gall will never forget.