There are bad debuts and then there are bad debuts.
Steven Taylor may just have had a debut so incredibly terrible, that it could even serve to rival Jonathan Woodgate’s Real Madrid bow.
The ex-Newcastle stalwart became the latest Premier League star to make an MLS switch by sealing a move to Portland Timbers. However, Taylor hasn’t exactly made the best first impression.
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Taylor leaving Newcastle seemed an impossible thought. The centre-back had risen through the youth ranks at St. Jame’s Park before embarking on a largely successful first-team career.
In fact, Taylor donned the black and white stripes for an incredible 21 years, having initially signed up as a 10-year-old.
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Consequently, it came as somewhat of a shock and, for many, a disappointment when the 30-year-old was released this summer. It certainly proved an abrupt end to a spell typified by unquestionable passion and loyalty.
Nonetheless, Taylor bit the bullet and moved to the USA. He took the same path as fellow ex-Premier League defender Liam Ridgewell in moving to Portland Timbers.
The Englishman made his debut in America, for Portland’s reserves, this weekend, but it certainly didn’t go to plan.
In a clash with LA Galaxy II, Taylor was given the nod, but was involved in a catastrophic first-half that saw the Oregon-based side enter the break 3-0 down.
Moreover, the 30-year-old had been solely responsible for the opening goal. After just nine minutes, he agonisingly slid the ball into his own net via a cross from the right-flank.
Taylor’s embarrassing debut gaffe can be seen below:
To rub salt into the wound however, Taylor was substituted at half-time and to say Portland improved without him would be an understatement. In fact, after the break, they turned the game on its head and took an improbable 4-3 lead.
The Providence Park-based side held onto their lead and as a result, their new English signing hadn’t covered himself in much glory.
Such an unimaginably shocking debut has led to inevitable comparisons to Jonathan Woodgate.
The now retired centre-back experienced a dire inaugural appearance for Real Madrid in 2005. Woodgate was awarded a red card on his bow versus Athletic Bilbao, but not before he had scored an own goal also.
With a similarly nightmarish start, Taylor has certainly reached such lows.
After all, it doesn’t bode well for his first team aspirations when his trial in the reserves took such a turn for the worst.
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