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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Former League of Ireland star Eamon Zayed living the American dream after dramatic brace

The ex-Bray Wanderers, Drogheda and Derry City striker is now with Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League.

EAMON ZAYED HAD a pretty good Christmas.

On 23 December last year, it was announced that the former League of Ireland striker would be joining Indy 11, the North American Soccer League side based in Indianapolis.

There had been other offers but Zayed was ready to try his luck in the US, particularly when former Sligo Rovers midfielder Richie Ryan captained the Ottawa Fury to the NASL championship final the previous month while another Irishman – Colin Falvey – anchored the Fury defence.

As it happened, Falvey and Zayed became team-mates in January when the Cork native swapped the Canadian capital for the biggest city in Indiana.

Indy haven’t been around long – only starting in the league in 2014 – but they’ve began the new season pretty well with successive draws against Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa.

Source: Indy Eleven/YouTube

But their brightest moment came on Saturday night, in front of their own fans.

They faced the New York Cosmos – the reigning champions – who boasted the likes of Raul and Marcos Senna in their ranks up until last year.

Their glittering history, cultural resonance and geographical marketability means that they still attract big-name players and their marquee signing for the season was Niko Kranjcar – the ex-Croatian international and Tottenham attacking midfielder.

He opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 51 minutes but it was Zayed who took the game by the scruff of its neck.

On 90 minutes, he converted from the spot to level affairs but then, deep into stoppage time, he was quickest to react when the Cosmos keeper parried a shot into his path.

The club’s first win of the season means they remain unbeaten and sit in fourth place, four points behind leaders Carolina Railhawks.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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