By J.P. Hoornstra
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
ONTARIO, Calif. – Dale Reinhardt is referred to by his Reign teammates simply as “goat.” Not like “scapegoat” or the bombastic “Greatest Of All Time” acronym, but like the farm animal.
“Brad Mehalko is where it came from,” Reinhardt said. “We play soccer before the games, juggle the ball around, and one day he said when I play soccer I look like a goat. All of a sudden I became `the goat.’
“I try and fight it, and the guys just make it worse.”
The visual comparison between Reinhardt and a goat is dubious, but the nickname reveals his adaptability. The rookie is, by all accounts, the type of player who will take on whatever job description – or moniker – can help him fit in.
A natural center, Reinhardt moved to left wing when he was acquired in a trade with the Bakersfield Condors in January. At the time, the Reign were down to eight forwards and weren’t looking for anyone in particular. Just a forward.
“I can’t take that much credit for finding Dale,” coach Karl Taylor said. “We talk on e-mail, all the coaches and GMs, and at that time I sent out a 9-1-1 message that I needed players. Because of that Bakersfield called and said Dale might be available. I said, `Great, whoever we can get.’
“It’s worked out quite well.”