Goals don't just change games. Goals change seasons. Goals change lives. Goals change. . everything. Group C of our Sounder at Heart Moment of the Year voting acknowledges the importance of goals, as 3 of our 4 entries involve putting the biscuit in the basket. The other one just involves a Sounders Academy player at the World Cup, nbd.
As before, pick the moment that will advance to the final poll.
Yedlin Represents America at the World Cup
A few years ago the only people who'd recognize DeAndre Yedlin were his friends and Sounders Academy nerds (hi). Then for a couple of years you had to be a college soccer nerd. Then, rather suddenly, all of Sounders nation knew about him. Then the league knew about him. A year later, all of American soccer knew about him. And when he subbed into a World Cup match against Portugal in June, the world knew about him.
The consensus pre-tournament predictions were that Yedlin wouldn't make the World Cup roster — and even if he did, he'd just be sightseeing to prepare for 2018. But he became one of Jurgen Klinsmann's most-used subs, bringing pace and aggression to the US right flank. He set up multiple goals and chances, memorably neutralized Eden Hazard in the Belgium match, and raised his stock enough that he's likely to be transferring to an EPL team any day now.
Air Marshall Scores and Throws the Horns
Amid the many significant moves coming into this season, the most important was the addition of Chad Marshall, who provided aerial domination and generally stout defending to enable Seattle's swashbuckling attack. He would go on to win the league Defender of the Year award. But the big man can also use his head to score. He demonstrated that with a late game-winning goal over the Philadelphia Union in May. And went on to honor the legacy of Ronnie James Dio with a full metal celebration.
Dempsey Scores 30 Seconds Into US' World Cup
The lead-in to the 2014 World Cup was a pretty fraught time for American soccer fans. We were without talisman Landon Donovan. We had been drawn into a brutally difficult group. Our first match was against arch-nemesis Ghana. But Clint Dempsey declared all of that fretting so much treading and ended it by taking his first touch to goal and shooting past (new Timbers keeper!) Adam Larsen Kwarasey to score the 5th fastest goal in World Cup history. He'd go on to get his nose broken in the game, play on, and play most of the rest of the tournament out of position thanks to an injury to Jozy Altidore. Just Dempsey things.
Obagoal Forces Buschface
Obafemi Martins has already scored a lot of amazing goals in his short time with the Sounders (and spoiler alert there might be another one in the next group). But there may not be any more amazing than the volleyed far post chip at a seemingly impoosible angle from the endline that he put on the San Jose Earthquakes. I mean, it went on to win the MLS Goal of the Year. Even if you're a bitter Portland fan who thinks he only won because of grubby ballot-stuffing, that's still something.
The goal was so good, it brought us two immortal moments: the shot itself, and the face Quakes keeper Jon Busch makes when he reflects upon what he has just witnessed. Forever known as Busch-face, it is an expression one makes only in the presence of greatness.