Goal of the Year: Juninho vs. Seattle Sounders
WHEN: Saturday, September 21
WHERE: vs. Seattle Sounders FC – StubHub Center
WHAT: Goals directly from set pieces were a calling card for the LA Galaxy in 2012 with David Beckham and Juninho terrorizing opposing goalkeepers, scoring four goals directly from freekicks and countless others as a result of their power and accuracy from long-range. But in 2013, with Beckham retired and teams focused on limiting Juninho’s opportunities to shoot from distance, goals direct from set pieces were at a premium.
However, the Galaxy did manage one goal directly from a freekick last season and what a goal it was.
Trailing at home to Seattle in first half stoppage time, the Galaxy won a freekick roughly 25 yards from goal when Zach Scott, who was booked for the foul, scythed down Jose Villarreal. Straight on to goal, both Juninho and Jose Villarreal stood over the ball as Michael Gspurning set up a five-man wall, which was only extended by the inclusion of three Galaxy players, who were bracketed by two additional Sounders. Perhaps expecting Villarreal to strike the ball, the Seattle goalkeeper stayed tight to his left-hand post, only for Juninho to stride forward. The Brazilian powered his shot over the wall and back down, curling it past the dive of Gspurning and inside his right-hand post, tying the score at 1-1.
To see the rest of the candidates for LA Galaxy Goal of the Year, go to LAGalaxy.com/GOTY.