Voting is now open for Major League Soccer's goal of the year, and the Wizards make only one appearance on the positive side -- striker Kei Kamara's vicious strike against Philadelphia in June.You can vote here.
It's a very pretty goal, one that was taken with sublime skill and effort, but it wasn't even the best goal the Wizards scored this year. (For my money, if you're counting only league goals, Josh Wolff's header against Houston and Birahim Diop's wonderstrike against San Jose were better.) Whatever, I'm voting Kamara just to give KC some representation in an other-wise Seattle-heavy list of candidates.
I've got a couple of problems that extend beyond that, though. First, 21 of the 30 goals nominated are strikes from distance (I'm counting shots beyond the penalty spot as "distance shots"). That's the equivalent of putting together an NBA highlight real and only showing three pointers or an NFL highlight only showing passes of 30 yards or more. Are they exciting moments? Undoubtably. Are they representative of the beauty and skill involved in the game? Again, of course. But only a portion. What about pieces of individual skill? Athletic headers? A brilliant one-two in the box? Bicycle kicks in the box? (More on that in a second.)
My second issue is with the fans. When Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were launching chemically-enhanced home runs, the saying was "Chicks dig the long ball." I suppose the same goes for MLS fans. All of the goals nominated were fan-selected Goal of the Week winners. Which probably helps explain why a third (A THIRD!) of the goals up for Goal of the Year come from the feet of the Seattle Sounders.
I have a third issue though: How can you have any form of Goal of the Year discussion without figuring out how to add this goal by Brian Ching? And how did thisnot
win Goal of the Week?
That... that's the Goal of the Year. Regardless of who wins the fan voting.