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Patrick Ianni scored just one goal in the MLS regular season — and it was spectacular.
The Sounders FC defender’s flying volley on June 20 against Sporting Kansas City collected 33.1 percent of the fan vote to claim 2012 MLS Goal of the Year. It was scored against MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen and the league’s top defense, no less.
“It makes me laugh every time I see it because I don’t think of myself as someone that would try something so audacious,” Ianni said through the team.
“It was a special moment for the team and the organization. Watching the fans reactions was the best. I felt just like them when I watch the clip.”
This effort by Portland’s Darlington Nagbe (25.1 percent) finished second in the voting, followed by this unforgettable strike by Seattle’s Fredy Montero (22.8) and a stunner by New England’s Lee Nguyen (19.0).
I asked Ianni after that game if it was the best goal he’s ever scored.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “Best goal — practice, games — since I was born.”
Coach Sigi Schmid joked afterward: “I think he surprised himself, too.”
Ianni has three career MLS goals with the Sounders, and each has been memorable. In 2009, he had an overhead kick against his former team, the Houston Dynamo. Then last year he scored in a 2-1 road win at Real Salt Lake, which broke their 29-game home unbeaten streak. Lastly, he has the first MLS Goal of the Year in Seattle history.
“The great thing about sports is that sometimes you don’t have the time to think about it,” he added through the team. “If I was thinking of the fact that there was a stadium full of people … I probably wouldn’t have tried it. Chances are, nine out of 10 of those you probably miss and look like a total goat, and I don’t know what made me try to do it. I guess it just boils down to being competitive and trying to win the game.”
I’ll post a list of previous winners after the jump, along with information on RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando winning MLS Save of the Year.
Rimando had three of the four finalists for the year’s top save, so it was no surprise that one was picked to win. Here it is, a great stop on Sporting KC’s Kei Kamara off a corner kick that took 38.53 percent of the vote.
Vancouver’s Joe Cannon had a save against D.C. United finish second at 23.7 percent, followed by Rimando effort against the Galaxy (22.57) and New England (15.21).
Former Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller won Save of the Year in 2011 and 2010.
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MLS Goal of the Year
2012: Patrick Ianni – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Sporting Kansas City – June 20, 2012
2011: Darlington Nagbe – Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City – July 2, 2011
2010: Marco Pappa – Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes – April 10, 2010
2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution – August 8, 2009
2008: Will Johnson – Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas – October 18, 2008
2007: Cuauhtemoc Blanco – Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake – August 18, 2007
2006: Brian Ching – Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United – September 30, 2006
2005: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy – October 15, 2005
2004: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes vs. D.C. United – August 2, 2004
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew – August 13, 2003
2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew – July 27, 2002
2001: Clint Mathis – MetroStars vs. Dallas Burn – April 28, 2001
2000: Marcelo Balboa – Colorado Rapids at Columbus Crew – April 22, 2000
1999: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United at Miami Fusion – May 22, 1999
1998: Brian McBride – Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire – July 9, 1998
1997: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United vs. New England Revolution – August 27, 1997
1996: Eric Wynalda – San Jose Earthquakes vs. D.C. United – April 6, 1996
MLS Save of the Year
2012: Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City – April 14, 2012
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose – October 15, 2011
2010: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Kansas City Wizards – April 17, 2010
2009: Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids – April 20, 2009