Sleepless night for Anton and family after first Atlanta goal
Wed 05 July 2017, 19:53|Tottenham Hotspur
There were members of the Walkes clan unable to sleep on both sides of the Atlantic after on-loan Anton Walkes bagged his first ever senior goal for Atlanta United in thrilling fashion in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 5 July).
The 20-year-old defender popped up with a crucial header at the back post nine minutes from time to put his side 3-2 up against San Jose Earthquakes in front of another packed house at the Bobby Dodd Stadium.
It set Atlanta on the way to another three points in the MLS, with Josef Martinez making sure of the victory by adding a fourth goal right at the end of normal time.
For Anton, whose family stayed up until 2am back in the UK to watch the game live on television, it was a magic moment – and one that he’s still ecstatic about now!
“It still hasn’t really hit home yet,” he told us from his Atlanta base today. “There’s no words to describe the feeling – I’m still kind of stunned and I couldn’t sleep last night. It was unbelievable, a great experience.
.@AntonWalkes make it 3-2. What a time to score your first ever goal for #ATLUTD! pic.twitter.com/MlkwX1n3gh— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) July 5, 2017
“I’ve been in contact with my family and they’re over the moon, so that’s really humbled me and made me value it even more. My mum and dad were watching live, they stayed up all the way back at home and they couldn’t get to sleep after that either! It was great to speak to my mum and dad and a few of my closest friends back home as well.”
Since his first league start in a 1-0 triumph against Colorado Rapids in the early hours of June 25, Anton has enjoyed a run of starts at right-back in further wins against Columbus Crew and the Earthquakes, in addition to a 65-minute stint at centre-half away to Miami in a 3-2 US Open Cup defeat.
Reflecting on the manner of his goal and assessing his recent form, Anton, who was named Atlanta’s man of the match against San Jose, added: “It was perfect timing last night. We were dominating anyway, so to get that goal at a late stage just helped us to push on from there and kill the game off. We definitely deserved to win the game, there’s no doubt about it. We just knew and I think we could sense it, that if we kept going the chances would come and they did.
“I’ve been enjoying the games at right-back but I’m still learning so it’s all about improving with every opportunity I get. I just feel like I keep developing and adding new things to my game.”