BRIDGEVIEW - Redemption and making up for one's mistakes can be a good thing, and for Daniel Paladini, Sunday's 3-1 victory over New York was pretty sweet.
"I feel I let the guys down [the past two games]," Paladini said of missed chances in previous weeks. "I had wide open opportunities against Kansas City and against Chivas. You know, those could have changed the game. If had scored the one against Chivas, I could have changed the game."
Paladini netted in the 44th minute Sunday to equalize for the Fire (1-3-1, 4 points), and in the second half, his fine display concluded with an assist on Maicon Santos' winner.
"Hunter [Jumper] put the ball on a platter for me," Paladini said after the match Sunday. "There was some relief to get that goal."
Paladini - who earned his third straight start of the season - would set up the winner in the 83rd minute when he made a crucial interception in midfield before feeding Santos with a well-placed throughball.
He would also play a pivotal role in the third goal, taking the free kick that Jeff Larentowicz headed on to Santos.
"It feels good [to be MOTM], but like I said, it's a team game," Paladini told Hot Time in Old Town. "I wouldn't be here without those guys. There are 11 guys on the field. I give it all to my teammates."
Although Paladini was modest after the match, others in the locker room were more open.
"I'm so happy for him," Chris Rolfe said of his teammate. "It seems every time he comes into the side, he puts in a good performance. I think it was last year too he came in and scored some goals."
Meanwhile, head coach Frank Klopas praised the midfielder's performance.
"Danny's a guy that's got quality," Klopas said in his post-match press conference. "When we've called him to step in, he's done it. He's a guy that's pushing us to play. We want guys like that when they come in they contribute. That's the depth we're trying to create within the team."
Paladini was deputized out wide in place of the injured Patrick Nyarko. Tactically, the 28-year-old California native was allowed to cut in and receive the ball.
"We made a little adjustment with me going out wide," he said. "I was able to tuck in more and get more touches, which is what I'm used to.
"I've always been a box-to-box player," Paladini told HTIOT. "Our coaches let me tuck in an get the ball at my feet to combine with the forwards."
Sunday afternoon marks the best individual game from Paladini in MLS, but he won't let that go to his head, he said.
"It was my best game in MLS, but I'm not going to look at it and take it easy," Paladini told HTIOT. "I'm going to look at it and see how consistent I can be. I want to maintain this, but it goes just like Frank says: Every week you have to train hard, earn your spot, and play hard when you get your chance."