Atlanta United scored a lot of goals this year, a whole lot. 70 in fact. If MLS used the metric system, that would be 100 goals. I’ll spare you more jokes that probably won’t land and just say that the staff got together and came up with five of what we consider the best goals of the Five Stripes inaugural season. This is what we put together, but with 70 goals on the year we no doubt didn’t cover some of the other best ones. Let us know in comments what we missed.
Parker: Soak this one in. As far as daggers go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Atlanta United was so good on the day against Chicago back in April that their opponents couldn’t defend the Five Stripes without getting a red card. To put the game down for good, Josef Martinez showed off the skills that made him one of the best strikers in MLS. There he is, just waiting at the top of the 18 yard box for a moment to make a run. His defender makes the wrong read on the pass, Josef takes a touch and slots home the goal from an impossible angle. Giving up a goal is bad enough for a keeper, but getting rounded is completely demoralizing.
Rob: No goal this season personified Atlanta United’s exciting, frantic style like Miguel Almiron’s solo gem against Columbus Crew. After receiving a pass near midfield, he dribbled nearly 40 years, nutmegged a defender with a shot and beat one of the better goalkeepers in the league. It was a moment of pure genius manufactured from nothing. It’s moments like these that make soccer such a great sport and keeps you coming back week after week.
Jess: There’s a reason this goal is the favorite for MLS Goal of the Year Award (Vote here). With the match tied in the 86th minute, Tito Villalba shocked both the announcers and the few Orlando fans in attendance to give Atlanta the three points with a ridiculous strike from distance. Winning on the road is always important, doing it against your “rivals” Orlando City was priceless.
Tiotal Football: I have a soft spot for this one because we were barely 100 minutes into club history at this point, but a team of young, hungry footballers speaking different languages had already developed a chemistry. Watch (23 second mark) as Asad identifies space in the middle and drifts inside, dragging the fullback with him. Meanwhile, Almiron sees the space vacated by the defender and makes a diagonal run into the box. As the fullback realizes whats happening, Garza overlaps freezing him in place as future Rookie of the Year Gressel plays a perfect throughball into Almiron. On the road. In the snow.
Haris: I watched this goal more often than any other we've scored this season, just because of how hypnotizing it is. Miguel Almiron's second goal against the Houston Dynamo showcased the skill everyone expected him to have when he first signed with the club. The moment Yamil Asad passed Almiron the ball just outside the box, everyone, especially a poor Dynamo defender, assumed he was going to shoot on goal with his first touch. However, Almiron pulled a rabbit out of his proverbial hat with a ...bunny hop? I don't even know what to call it. That's how mystifying it is(and he absolutely meant to do it. He did not break stride at any point). Then, he just casually rifles a shot into the back of the net. Take a bow, Miggy.