Championship Matchup: Nguyen vs. Bunbury
Tournament Record: Nguyen 116-46 vs. Bunbury 157-22
Most Votes Received: Nguyen 49 (Round 1) vs. Bunbury 60 (Round 1)
Arguments from the Experts: Seth vs. Nick
Seth: Lee Nguyen. Like a piece of classical music, a proper goal actually gains value as time goes on and that's why Nguyen's chip deserves to be named the Revolution's best goal of 2014.
The buildup to the goal is a symphony orchestrated by Daigo Kobayashi, Jermaine Jones, Charlie Davies and of course Nguyen. Kobayashi begins the arrangement by intercepting the ball and quickly playing it forward. A key change occurs when Nguyen makes a backwards pass while he himself marches onward. Jones gets things going again by lobbing it forward to Davies, whose simple note alters the inflection of composition. Finally the ball returns to Nguyen, who elegantly puts the ball into the back of the net. It's a crescendo to be enjoyed.
Watch the play again and you'll notice other intricacies, like Jose Goncavles' pressure and Nguyen's determination. Was the chip the most important goal of the year? No, but it was the most beautiful.
Nick: Teal Bunbury. In the opening moments of a pivotal playoff match, with a trip to the MLS Cup Final on the line, Teal Bunbury silenced the 30,000-plus Red Bulls supporters that surrounded him. He didn't need a brilliant passage of play to set up his tally, nor did he need the help of his teammates; instead, Bunbury put forth an incredible individual effort, gifting the Revs a crucial first-half lead. After receiving a patient pass on the right side of the pitch, Bunbury executed a stepover and hit a bending shot toward Luis Robles. As a congregation of Revolution fans rose from their seats--wondering if somehow, just maybe, the curling strike would find the upper corner--Bunbury watched with similar amazement.
And then he celebrated.
For much of the 2014 season, Bunbury worked to rewrite his MLS story; he just needed to prove he could finish, as he so often struggled to do throughout his first season in red, white and blue. Well, Bunbury has re-written his story--scoring a goal that will be forever ingrained in the minds of Revolution supporters.
Candidate: Lee Nguyen
Candidate: Teal Bunbury
Poll closes at 11:59am EST on Sunday, February 22nd.