Like the players on both sides of the field in a high school game played at Subaru Park Tuesday night between rival South Jersey schools Clearview and Kingsway, Ryan Shute was elated just to be playing on the home field of his favorite team.
That he was the one the familiar “Doop” refrain from the song “Maria (I Like it Loud)” was being played for after his late goal, however, was something that took the experience to a level of surreal he wasn’t quite ready for in the moment.
“I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” Shute said post-game, quickly shifting into very familiar territory talking about the Philadelphia Union, which he’s done on camera since launching the web show/vlog “Talk DOOP with Ryan” nearly six years ago. “It reminded me of Anthony Fontana a couple years ago when he scored his first goal; he was just overcome with emotions doing a bunch of different celebrations. That’s exactly what I did.”
Shute was a workhorse for Clearview on the night, coming off the bench in both halves to run at the Kingsway defense and try to force something like one of his favorite Union players Sergio Santos, who has been in solid form himself lately unnerving opponents with his pace and strength in the press.
“I love the way he plays and I try to model that,” Shute said. “That was what I was trying to do, just run at them 100 miles an hour.”
While Kingsway had a number of chances to take the lead in the third edition of a competition they’ve dubbed the Union Cup, Clearview goalkeeper Jamel Yasin’s standout performance kept the game scoreless and set up the magic moment for the offense in the 67th minute when Robbie Kaufman picked off a pass from the back and delivered a cross to Shute, who was racing across the face of goal for the first-time finish.
“I was thinking I gotta make my fellow Union fans proud, I gotta make my family and friends proud,” Shute said. “I was committed, I was committed to scoring tonight and thankfully it happened.”
After the match, Shute was the man of the hour. Teammates were piling around him, classmates were chanting his name in the stands and media were lining up to interview him, the diehard Union fan turned October game-winner at Subaru Park.