Ex-Cardiff and Nottingham Forest star Robert Earnshaw ecstatic after another MLS landmark

Cardiff City Stadium

The new Vancouver Whitecaps striker is making a habit of grabbing debut goals across the Atlantic.

Robert Earnshaw is no stranger to a debut goal and the Vancouver Whitecaps striker came up with a dramatic one in the weekend’s 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers.

With the game at BC Place heading for a 1-1 draw, head coach and former Wales teammate Carl Robinson opted for one last throw of the dice in the 87th-minute, bringing on Earnshaw for his first Whitecaps appearance.

It didn’t take him long to make an impact either, as the experienced front man struck just three minutes later with a confident chip over Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey to hand his side all three points.

“I didn't know what to do," Earnshaw joked with MLSsoccer.com after the match. "I was so emotional. I was so happy. I kind of lost myself a little bit. That's credit to everyone here.

"The length of time I've been playing football and that feeling when the ball hits the net, oh my god, it's the best," he continued. "Within that split two, two-and-a-half seconds, my mind is going. It's like three minutes because I have to know what to do, when to do it and react to what he was doing."

Earnshaw, 33, first linked up with the Whitecaps in preseason after reaching out to Robinson and, following a successful trial, was signed on a permanent basis just three days before the visit of Cascadia rivals Portland.

Now turning out for his third MLS team in three seasons, the former Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest ace also scored on his debut for his previous club, Chicago Fire, last season and bagged a brace on his home debut for Toronto FC in March 2013.

He even did the same on his Wales bow in 2002, sealing a 1-0 win over Germany, and admits that he’s now lost count of his record when it comes to fast starts.

"I'll leave it to you guys to get on Google or something," he added. "I don't know, but it's a lot. Carl was saying to me just now that as soon I came on he knew I was going to score, as it's a debut. It's amazing how many times debuts seem to go your way in games. What an amazing, amazing feeling."

Earnshaw’s MLS record across spells with Toronto, Chicago and Vancouver stands at 12 goals in 34 games following the weekend, with 24 of those appearances being starts, and Whitecaps boss Robinson believes his former long-time international teammate will prove an invaluable addition to his emerging squad over the coming months.

"I brought him here because he can score goals,” said Robinson. “When he gets the chance and he gets in the right position, he usually takes it. I knew he'd get one chance. The coolness of the finish and the calmness in his head was outstanding.”

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