It’s beyond a cliché to point out that the MLS Goal of the Week is more of a popularity contest than any sort of qualitative metric. No one should know better than Seattle Sounders fans, who for many years had seemingly perfected the art of ballot stuffing until it apparently got tiresome a few years ago. For a spell, MLS even instituted a sort of bracket-style vote that seemed to discourage — or at least make it a heavier lift — to ballot stuff.
Likely because that also killed participation, the old-fashioned straight vote has made a return this year ... to completely predictable results. Sure, there are weeks when an obviously amazing goal wins. And there are weeks where the league’s bigger fanbases — Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati and the Sounders seem to be the biggest these days — actually get to vote for a deserving goal.
But there are plenty of other examples of these fanbases just sort of flexing. How else to explain a rather pedestrian backheel by FC Cincinnati’s Allan Cruz beating out Lucas Rodriguez’s full volley screamer in Week 3? That week, you may remember, also featured the rather odd situation where Jordan Morris — not rightfully, mind you! — was leading the vote up until the 11th hour before he slipped to third.
Last week there was another example, as Cristian Roldan’s 30-yard “jaw-dropping first-time finish” lost out to Ezequiel Barco’s “low-skipping drive” despite them drawing the same percentage of the vote.
Anyway, this is sort of a long way of saying that Roldan is up for Goal of the Week again. His chested down, half-volley wasn’t from quite as far away as last week’s goal, but it was arguably even prettier as he had to put enough topspin on it to bend it over the goalkeeper.
And once again he’s up against a relatively mundane Atlanta United goal. As of this writing, he’s currently trailing in the vote. Yes, it’s a silly thing, but let’s not let him lose out again.