By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
Sounders FC defender Patrick Ianni scored one goal this season, and it turned out to be the best in Major League Soccer.
Ianni tied the June 20 home match against Sporting Kansas City by volleying in a Mauro Rosales cross with leaping right-footed scissors kick from 11 yards out. After the game, he called it the best goal he had ever scored in practice, in a game or since he was born.
On Thursday, it was honored as MLS Goal of the Year, drawing 33.1 percent of fan voting among four finalists. (Video of the goal is available at blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer.)
“It makes me laugh every time I see it because I don’t think of myself as someone that would try something so audacious,” Ianni said through a Sounders press release. “… Chances are nine out of 10 of those you probably miss and look like a total goat, and I don’t know what made me try to do it. I guess it just boils down to being competitive and trying to win the game.”
A goal by Portland’s Darlington Nagbe finished second in the online/text voting. Third place went to Sounders forward Fredy Montero for a long-distance running goal against Los Angeles on May 2.
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was credited with the save of the year, a left-handed, quick-reaction swat against Kansas City.
MLS also handed out its most prestigious postseason award Thursday, naming San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski the league’s most valuable player. Wondolowski tied the league record with 27 goals during the regular season, and he won 97 percent of the media vote, 91 percent of the vote from MLS clubs, and 71 percent of the vote from players.
Thierry Henry of New York was the runner-up, followed by Graham Zusi of Kansas City and Brad Davis of Houston.