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Respectful Jacob Peterson tempers emotions after stunning former club

The former SKC man was happy, but respect came first.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t be alarmed by Jacob Peterson’s noticeably muted celebration after scoring a stoppage time equalizer Sunday night against Sporting Kansas City. For a player who has dealt with injury issues for a good portion of the season, the extremely important goal probably had him celebrating like Ryan Giggs in the 1999 FA Cup semifinal against Arsenal in his mind. However, doing it against the team he played five years for, he opted to take the respectful route.

For those new to the sport, it’s often customary for players to choose not to celebrate when scoring in front of supporters they’ve played in front of and have respect for. Some people question this custom, but for the most part it’s an acknowledgement of respect. Peterson told reporters after the match that his decision not to make more of the special goal was just because of that reason.

“I have a lot of respect for this club. I really enjoyed my time here. I think just out of respect for the club, the fans, it wasn’t appropriate for me to celebrate.” — Jacob Peterson; Source: Quotes provided by ATLUTD

It was Peterson’s second goal of the season for Atlanta in just 115 total minutes played. The other came as the capper in the 6-1 massacre of Minnesota United in the second match of the season. Injuries have sidelined Peterson for a long stretch of the campaign. He admitted that it hasn’t been easy for him not to be playing.

“It was a very frustrating time for me, personally. Being with a new team it’s not something you want to go through. Hopefully I’ve turned a corner.”

After a two-week break, the fixture list will start piling up for the Five Stripes. Having some added depth on the bench with the veteran’s return is much-needed. If he can continue to provide some special moments in clutch spots like this, he could be more valuable than some ever anticipated.