Fire defender Carlos Teran and the art of the long throw-in

During the waning moments of the Oct. 9 season finale, the Fire were down 1-0 against New England but earned a throw-in on the Revolution’s side of the field. Defender Carlos Teran took the throw and launched the ball on a straight line deep into the New England box, where the Revolution couldn’t clear their lines and allowed the Fire’s Alex Monis to score the equalizing goal in what ended up a 1-1 tie.

Besides ending the Fire’s year on a positive note, that play highlighted the value of Teran’s consistently long throws.

“It felt good to see the season end that way,” Teran said through a translator. “In the moment, I didn’t really think about it being from my throw, because ever since I was little I’ve been throwing it that way and I always want it to end that way.”

Of course, not every throw ends with a goal. But Teran’s arm strength gives opponents something to think about, and provides the Fire with scoring chances they might not get otherwise.

Teran is aware of that, and he also knows a long throw-in has to be in the right spot for one of his teammates or in an area that might be difficult for opposing defenders. The throw that led to Monis’ goal was a perfect example of the latter, when New England looked confused by what to do and paid for their uncertainty.

But when it’s time to throw, Teran’s considerable strength and athleticism take over.

“In the moment, I don’t really think anything,” Teran said. “I just get [the ball] and think I want to do it well because I want the team to score.”

There are times when a long throw-in isn’t the right play. Depending on their field position and the state of the game, the right choice can be to throw the ball short so the Fire can keep possession or just slow down the match.

Though Teran is clearly proud of this skill, he lets the scenario dictate what he does when the ball is in his hands.

“It’s my job to do what the team needs,” Teran said. “If we need to throw it long and throw it far, I do that. If we need to keep it short, I do that.”

Beyond this talent, the Fire saw Teran’s all-around game take steps forward in 2022. Though injuries were an issue, Teran ended the season healthy and improved as the season wore on after replacing the injured Wyatt Omsberg.

“For me, that’s part of my job, that’s part of my work,” Teran said. “It’s my responsibility to be out there as much as possible and to be working hard every day so I can contribute to the team and be there when they need me. It’s what I need to do.”

There is another way Teran contributes to the Fire. And when he was asked how others could emulate his long throws, Teran had straightforward advice.

“I would tell them to focus and become one with the ball,” Teran said.

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