Skip to content

What you don’t know about FA Cup hero Matt Smith

Feb 26, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

Oldham Athletic v Everton - FA Cup Fifth Round Getty Images

The “footballing” name on so many tongues today in England is not Gareth Bale or Frank Lampard or Robin van Persie. It is Matt Smith.

Yes, that Matt Smith.

Smith is the scoring darling at Oldham, the lowest-ranked team still alive in the FA Cup, still standing as the lower-tier symbol of what everyone loves about England’s highly romanticized tournament.

Oldham, struggling in England’s third tier, have managed nonetheless to knock out Liverpool and then, through a late equalizer, to force a replay with Everton after a 2-2 draw earlier this month.

Everton hosts Oldham in a fifth round replay today at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel. A match preview from Sky Sports is here.

Smith is the big forward who scored twice for Oldham in the giant-killing win over Liverpool. He also made the injury-time moment against Tim Howard and Everton in the dramatic 2-2 draw.

As for what you didn’t know about the big (he’s 6-6) fellow: He was once so unsure about ever hammering out a career in pro soccer, his studies at an England university brought Smith to the United States for a year. So the man now on top of the world in England once played for Arizona State’s club soccer team. (The university does not have an official NCAA program.)

That was surely one big sledge hammer of a club team.

As for how Smith is handling all this: the Oldham striker was Soccer Today last weekend (a weekly radio show I host along with Marc Stein). Here’s what he told us about his crazy life as a media darling thanks to his recent heroics:

It’s been pretty crazy if I’m being honest with you, obviously, going from relative obscurity to making national headlines and international things like all this [the interview in America], it’s been mental.  It’s obviously very flattering, a lot of the press that’s been written about me, and a lot of people wanting to congratulate me and all this.

“It’s been great, but at the same time, as a player, it’s important to try to remain level headed and grounded. And not get too too carried away. Obviously it’s been a phenomenal FA Cup for me, and I’ll never forget it.

“But at same time, from a personal point of view, I want to progress. It’s about finding that consistency week in and week out, not just having these great games, but doing in on a consistent basis.

By the way, about the odd sounds you hear in the background on the link above: We did that show live from the American Airlines Center, where three of the NBA’s biggest soccer fans, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, were about to meet on the court. Players were out for early shoot-around during the show.

Latest Posts
  1. Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City: N’Doye’s double hands Tigers huge win

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v Hull City - Premier League Crystal Palace v Hull City - Premier League

    Tigers give themselves breathing space from the bottom three with much-needed win.

  2. Burnley 0-1 Leicester City: Foxes move out of drop zone, send Clarets bottom!

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT

    Burnley v Leicester City - Premier League Getty Images

    Nigel Pearson was fired last month, or so we were led to believe. Now his Foxes have escaped the drop zone with a dramatic win at Turf Moor.

  3. VIDEO: Spurs’ emotional Pochettino on his St. Mary’s return, “I still love Southampton”

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    “I was focused on my job but was a very tough and emotional game for me,” said Tottenham’s boss.

  4. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Leicester City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:47 AM EDT

    Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Turf Moor is the place, and Danny Ings will lead the Clarets attack in a quest for safety.

  5. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. West Ham United (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the R’s grab a crucial win in the London derby? Watch live online.

  6. Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    USMNT back Geoff Cameron gets the start at right back, again, for Stoke City.

  7. Southampton 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Visitors twice come back from Pelle goals

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:42 AM EDT

    Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    Kelvin Davis wasn’t poor, but Saints are clearly missing the steady play of Fraser Forster between the sticks.

  8. Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Balotelli AP

    Can Liverpool keep their faint top four hopes alive? Watch them live online, right here.

  9. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:28 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    There will be no Bafetimbi Gomis at all for Swans, while Ki Sung-yeung is relegated to the bench.

  10. WATCH: Premier League live online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 34

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:15 AM EDT

    Live Extra

    Where and how to watch every single PL game live online or via the app during Week 34.

  11. Watch Live: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:07 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    USMNT winger/back DeAndre Yedlin is on the bench for Spurs.

  12. MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-1 FC Dallas

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:21 AM EDT

    Colorado Rapids vs Columbus Crew Colorado Rapids vs Columbus Crew

    FC Dallas took the lead into halftime, but a second half red card to Blas Perez let Colorado sneak back for a point.

  13. Tony Pulis: I’m more than just an escape artist

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Tony Pulis is known for turning around struggling clubs, but the West Brom manager says he is more than just a last resort.

  14. MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-0 New York City FC

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Toronto FC v Chicago Fire Getty Images

    David Accam’s first MLS goal was enough for Chicago to down a NYCFC side that played more than 60 minutes a man down.

  15. Americans Abroad preview: Howard and Guzan face Manchester opposition

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Everton v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Tim Howard takes on his former club Manchester United, while Brad Guzan looks to keep Manchester City off the scoresheet.

  16. Tottenham looking to sell Adebayor at season’s end

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

    FBL-ENG-FA CUP-TOTTENHAM-LEICESTER Getty Images

    Finding a club to pay his $150,000 per week wages is the only problem for Spurs.

  17. Premier League Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT

    Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi-Final Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi-Final

    The Baggies must defend The Hawthorns as Liverpool is barely clinging on to top-four dreams.

  18. Hull City players face pay cuts up to 50-percent if relegated

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    Swansea City v Hull City - Premier League Getty Images

    Clinging onto safety in the Premier League, Hull City players now have some added incentive to avoid the drop.

Featured video

Should Chelsea be more entertaining?