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Making sense of Josef Martinez’s awkward MLS Cup-winning goal

A championship moment that left many perplexed.

The euphoria of seeing your team score a goal is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s one of the main things I love about soccer. So, you would think that when you get to see your team score the first goal in a huge final match it would be the pinnacle of that emotional scale.

Unfortunately, in today’s age of VAR reviews, Josef Martinez’s cup-winning goal wasn’t that for some. If you’re like me, it took you a few minutes to believe that the first goal of MLS Cup 2018 would stand. Just by watching the way the play developed, I was convinced it would be called back for something.

Offside? Definitely. Foul? Probably. Except, no referee whistle ever came, just the obnoxiously beautiful sound of a train whistle. No VAR review either. After several long moments of wondering, the realization finally hit that the goal was good.

Thankfully, that euphoric moment would come in the second half when Franco Escobar left no doubt. However, the goal that won the cup was undoubtedly awkward. Joe Patrick and I collaborated on the above video to analyze everything that went on during that play and how Brad Guzan, yes the goalkeeper, played an important role with a tip to Michael Parkhurst, a centerback, to help Josef score.

It’s a goal that will live on forever, but one that is complex. Hopefully this video clears up any confusion and credits all the unsung heroes that helped it materialize.