I'm not going to lie, Nick Hemming has carried this little bracket style idea I had for the Revs 2014 GOTY contest, and that bracket graphic he created took the project to a new level. We can only hope for a plethora of goals in 2015 to repeat this idea next winter because I really liked it. Well, most of it...
The idea was kicked around while we were looking for offseason content and at long last, we've reached the final between Bunbury's playoff goal vs. RBNY and Nguyen's chip vs. Montreal. And these two goals are very worthy of being in the final, but as with any subjective vote, my criteria is different than everyone else's.
(You should go vote for this in the above link, it ends on Monday.)
With the drastic disparity between Lee Nguyen and the rest of the team in goals last season, the original idea was to take Lee's best and the rest of the teams in a head-to-head bracket style. And in that concept, the idea worked.
Except for the part where everyone I seemed to vote for went against the majority of the staff and lost in the overall voting, meaning goals I really liked, including my standalone vote for Goal of the Year, lost in the first round. If you think there's no right or wrong answers in a popular vote, you're wrong, just like everyone who voted against my #1 goal of 2014.
So with apologies to every Lee Nguyen non-PK goal that didn't make his final eight, these are my best goals in 2014 that didn't (or couldn't) make the cut for the final vote.
5. JERMAINE JONES VS PORTUGAL (2014 WORLD CUP)
Okay, so this is cheating. Jones wasn't even a member of the Revolution at this point and it wasn't even a goal from MLS. But that's not the point, this goal is spectacular. Forget the setting, forget that it's an equalizer, this is not only Jones' defining highlight with the United States but probably will go down as one of the best USMNT goals ever. And do I really need an excuse to watch it another 20 times? I do not.
4. JOSE GONCALVES VS COLUMBUS (MLS PLAYOFFS, 2ND LEG)
Is this as good as Jose's dribbling run from the back against Sporting KC that actually made it to Round 2 of our tournament? Probably not, but it's just as impressive until you get to the finish. It's Goncalves that starts the play by creating a turnover, then he continues his run to the far post, stays onside perfectly and while the finish might be a bit lucky for any player other than a center back, it's an amazing goal. Also our yearly dose of Max Bretos.
3. DIEGO FAGUNDEZ vs. CHICAGO FIRE
Everyone will remember this goal for his celebration with the Minutemen, which is not even the best celebration during the play. That honor as far as I'm concerned goes to Revs color analyst and former assistant Paul Mariner and his wonderfully maniacal cackle during the aftermath. Diego Fagundez was the only regular goal scorer/player that didn't make the final cut in the bracket so he deserves at least an honorable mention here. While Fagundez didn't meet expectations coming off a stellar 2013 campaign, he's still an incredible talent who can find the scoresheet in a variety of ways.
2. PATRICK MULLINS VS TORONTO FC
This is where I start to tell everyone why they're doing this voting thing wrong. I know Teal Bunbury's goal beat this in the All-Revs final, but this is Mullins' FIRST CAREER GOAL AGAINST A WORLD CUP GOALKEEPER?!?!? How does this lose to anything not scored by Lee Nguyen? Yes it's on a turnover against a recovering TFC defense but that's about as emphatic a way to start your career as you're going to see. Just because Teal's goal took place in the playoffs and at RBA doesn't mean it was better than this... and yes, that's despite the fact that all of Germany scored against Julio Cesar in the World Cup.
1. KEVIN ALSTON VS. HOUSTON DYNAMO
This. Just look at the celebration going on around Kevin Alston. There's not a player on the Revs or arguably in MLS that didn't deserve a moment like this in 2014. After missing much of the 2013 campaign receiving treatment for leukemia, and making a few appearances en route to becoming the league's Comeback Player of the Year, there's not a more memorable goal from the Revs 2014 season. Yes, Lee Nguyen scored them almost every week and yes there are more impressive goals than Alston cleaning up a mess at the top of the box first time past Tally Hall. But as far as sentimental value goes, you can't beat this. If I had a stand alone vote for Goal of the Year, this would be it.
Yes, New England, you did it wrong by eliminating Alston's goal in the first round for a Chris Tierney free kick goal that he does a couple of times a year. (Apologies to Chris who is still free to score on set pieces, they're always excellent.)
But that's my list of snubs. Is there a goal that you think should've made it into the bracket of 16 or a goal that shouldv'e gone farther? Let us know, in the comments below and be sure to check out and vote in the final between Teal and Lee.