Opinions vary on this week's best MLS goal

ThierryHenryGOW (ISIPHotos.com)

In a league where the quality of goals is improving on a regular basis, it is pretty much unheard of to everfind a complete consensus on MLS Goal of the Week. This week, after seeing three magical goals scored, the debate is stronger than any goal award debate since the "Nagbe or Hassli" Goal of the Year debate in 2011.

Thierry Henry, Julian deGuzman and Fredy Montero all scored special goals over the weekend, and if you ask fans of their respective teams, chances are they might tell you that you're clinically insane for not voting for their player's goal as Goal of the Week (and apologies to San Jose fans, but as impressive as Alan Gordon's team goal was, passing through an opponent that has looked like traffic cones for the past month isn't quite as impressive as these other goals).

In case you missed them, or want to see them again, here are Henry's goal, deGuzman's goal and Montero's goal.

As you know, Henry's goal was named SBI MLS Goal of the Week. And no, it wasn't because that was the one of the three aforementioned goals I saw in person. It was the pick because Henry's goal was a special goal, something you almost never, if ever see (no, I don't simply mean an Olympico, since we have seen those before, but rather an Olympico hit perfectly over the goalkeeper and off the back post). A goal you could show anybody, soccer fan or not, and chances are they'll say "Wow" (I know because I spent part of Saturday night in New York City showing people this goal on my phone and 'Wow' was the general response).

Folks in the Pacific Northwest and in Texas had other ideas, which I found out afternaming Henry's goal SBI's pick. DeGuzman's dramatic last-minute volley blast could have easily been the pick because of the skill and importance of the goal, and Montero's outstanding finish came in an intense derby (and earned me double fantasy points). Both might have earned Goal of the Week in my book in most week.

Just not this week.

In an effort to get a better sense of which goal really was the most impressive, I decided to survey some MLS players. I asked six players (none of which either play with or played against either Henry, Montero or DeGuzman last week) which goal they thought was the best and the voting was unanimous. All six picked Henry's goal, with all but one choosing DeGuzman's goal second. Why the overwhelming support for Henry's goal among players? I would say it is because none of them questioned whether Henry meant to perfectly strike a corner kick off the top of the far post and over Columbus goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Plenty of fans, and some media, refuse to believe he meant it (something Henry had to know when he adamantly insisted he meant it after the match).

So now I ask you, SBI readers, to chime in. Which goal did you think was best, and why? You can cast your vote after the jump (though as we know, polls are too easily manipulated to ever truly be trusted as a fair measure of popular consensus). I'm more interested in hearing people's opinions (and feel free to let us know where you are chiming in from).

Share your thoughts (and your vote) below:


  • Andy in LA

    I’d just add that it’s fantastic for MLS to have a discussion like this going on. There really isn’t a ‘right’ answer to this one, obviously, as all three are pretty superb top-notch goals. I guess I’m one of those swayed by the drama of the timing of the de Guzman goal, but I don’t pretend that there’s anything other than personal preference behind that choice.
    What gets me excited is that all three of these happened in one MLS week. This is the first year I’ve really followed the Galaxy or MLS in general (I’m a repentant Euro snob, my apologies to the soccer gods), and while I’m still being slowly lured into it, this kind of thing will help get me hooked pretty quick.
    Also, I love that some people thought Ives’ stating a preference would sway the poll– first of all, who cares, for heaven’s sake, and second of all, yeah, the regular commenters here really love to just go along with Ives’ opinions. That’s how it always works!


  • divers suck

    The reason why I think Montero and de Guzman goals were better is because they were both absolutely sick goals in the run of play with Monteros being a snap volley while being draped on by a defender after a direct pass from the goalkeeper. Henrys goal, for me, was very nice but more of an indictment on the embarrassing goalkeeping and the basic setting up of the defenders for the corner kick. Most professional players (and many lower level) can practice corners into an empty goal and eventually turn into somewhat of an art scoring on them. Goalkeepers and defenders should NEVER let them go in. And lets face it, you can tell by the look on TH face that he himself knew it was a lucky goal.


  • QuakerOtis

    Just curious, could you tell whether or not that kid’s goal was a fluke or intended? Good for the kid in either case. I think it’s Henry’s awareness, intent, and execution that has those in his camp so impressed.

    I’m thinking that this whole debate comes down to those who appreciate “the moment” versus those who appreciate the way years of technical practice and dedication can make a difficult thing look easy… so easy that some would argue how any 11 year old can routinely replicate it. Though both certainly go into the enjoyment of sport, I am routinely floored by how great some atheletes are on command. Henry’s goal is the latest example of that level of skill in this league. Glad he’s here.


  • nate

    I was on the near post when one was scored on my team–in high school (except it was actually a better kick cuz it curled inside the far post entirely; let’s be honest, any time you’re banking it off a round post there’s a bit of luck involved, intentional or not). Impressive, sure, but let’s not get carried away. DeGuzman’s was more technical and more important to the match.


  • Polo

    SBI: Nobody tries it because any decent keeper would easily get to that ball. Columbus’ #1 keeper even admitted it was an embarrassment for his sub to have let in such a goal. That’s not the definition of a goal of the week.


  • Polo

    “I can empathize with him,” Gruenebaum said of his understudy Lampson, “because I’ve had something probably more embarrassing happen to me against New York in New York.”

    This is Columbus’ first keeper talking about the substitute kid who let Henry’s goal in. That’s right, an embarrassment. That is NOT the definition of a goal of the week. You rarely see far post goals like this because no decent keeper in the world would let one in. I see them all the time in kids’ leagues, though, and no, it’s not that impressive. As for MLS, it’s more sad than impressive.


  • Pedro

    Says who? Don’t be so arrogant. GOTW has always been about more than just the technicality of the goal and skill involved, because it’s a fan vote and it’s up to them to decide. If you don’t like it leave.


  • Pedro

    Do you play soccer? Curling a ball is not that hard. You see tons of olimpicos in jr-high soccer because keepers aren’t experienced enough.

    And context is not all, but it is important, and GOTW is a fan vote, so it’s up to the fans to decide if a goal is more important to them because of context, you can’t decide for them.


  • Pedro

    An american football ball is not round. You can’t bend it. Soccer balls are super easy to bend. I don’t think you know what you’re talkin about, sorry.

    Olimpicos happen in high school ALL THE TIME because of inexperienced keepers.


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