Dom Dwyer skipped the backflip.
In the moment his right-footed shot rolled across the goal line Saturday, Dwyer disregarded his usual celebration, charged toward the Sporting Kansas City sideline and hugged the man he credited for it.
Head athletics trainer Kenny Ishii.
"I told him that on my first right-footed goal (this season), I'd celebrate it with him," said Dwyer, who is left-foot dominant. "So we (enjoyed) that one for awhile."
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Their connection is simple — the Sporting KC training room. An operation on his right ankle placed Dwyer there for the duration of the offseason.
For more than a year, he knew the ankle would eventually require surgery, but he held off until a week after the 2016 season, hoping to minimize his absence on the field. The rehab followed. Instead of the usual holiday trip to England to visit family, he stayed in Kansas City, working daily with Ishii to accelerate a process that Sporting KC captain Matt Besler also went through.
He referred to the 2017 season as "a bit sweeter" considering the three months that preceded it.
"I feel great," he said. "Almost every game (last year), I couldn't walk for a day or two afterwards. It would really, really react badly. It was just hard trying to get ready for the next game. And when I took a shot with my right foot, there was a pain."
Dating back to 2015, he felt that discomfort each time he touched the ball. Although he would use his right foot nonetheless, the injury limited its effectiveness.
His optimism about adding — or reviving — a weapon was evident after the match Saturday in the locker room. As reporters huddled around midfielder Benny Feilhaber for a post-game interview, Dwyer butted in.
"Hey, Benny," he said, "talk about my right foot."
Feilhaber obliged. Sort of.
"I think if Dom has as good of a left foot as he does a right foot, he probably scores a couple more," Feilhaber deadpanned.
"That's fair," Dwyer responded.
After a relatively slow start to 2017 — zero goals in the initial four matches — Dwyer has three tallies in four games heading into Wednesday's home matchup with the New York Red Bulls.
His strike Saturday in a victory against Real Salt Lake was only the eighth of his career to come off his right foot, per ESPN. The bulk of his scoring comes from his dominant left or his head. He had one of each last month.
"A couple of the lads have been giving me shtick for not using my right as much," Dwyer said. "They were saying I got a good right foot and I should start using it, so it was nice to get an opportunity on it."