Beckerman's incredible goal deserves goal of the week nod

Taylor Fugate

Why you should go vote for Beckerman's goal as goal of the week right now. Like, seriously, go vote for him immediately.

Let me just say I've already argued this point several times on the MLS page (using my FB page) for the voting on Goal of the Week or GOTW for short. I will write this out in a more professional and clear format in hopes of swaying your votes in case you didn't consider all the facts. I won't bother tearing down other goals this week because while there are several that are good, Kyle Beckerman's doesn't need other goals to be bad for his to look good.

Point 1:

Kyle takes his ball off the volley at near waist height with no previous touch. One of my favorite goals I've previously seen at the RioT was Clint Mathis' goal against the New England Revolution in our 6-0 route. Kyle's goal tops that. It is fairly common for one-touched goals to be when the ball is closer to the ground. It is not very common to be able to one-touch a ball so high on your body and still keep it on frame, let alone score the goal.

To do this without any touch on the ball at all beforehand takes such a high skill level. Just this alone by itself is a reason Kyle should win. I would say in my opinion there are at most 10 other guys in the league that I think could do this and I don't know if anyone else on this team could do it.

Point 2:

The ball is spinning sideways. Have you ever played ping pong against someone who can serve a side spin? It is incredibly difficult to not have the ball slip right off your paddle. This is the same type of principle with kicking a soccer ball that has a good amount of side spin.

There is a good reason that a lot of strikers' headers just miss staying on frame on corners and free kicks and that is side spin. It is a very, very difficult element to successfully control a ball from. Is this the most sidespin that's ever been on a goal? No it's not, but that doesn't make this any easier. It is a very tricky element that could have affected the placement of the ball very easily.

Point 3:

Shooting across one's body is more difficult to put any pace on the ball. Stephenson gets the ball on frame with a lot of pace because he has such great technique and shifts his weight at the perfect time. To get the most power, you want your foot staying on target and your whole body moving forward. The weight shift to produce power is similar to how you increase your drive distance in golf. It isn't just swinging harder or being stronger; a lot of it is timing and a smooth motion. There are a million different websites that explain these principles in more detail in case you are interested.

The point is kicking a ball going across your body makes your chances of losing your power incredibly high. The majority of shots where one is going across the body come in with weak pacing or power and is easily saved by the keeper. You'll generally see anywhere from 3-5 shots like this a game. It is very much an unnatural position for shooting. And this combined with the previous points makes Kyle's goal all the more impressive.

Point 4:

Taking a shot from a side angle is hard. When you are straight at the goal you can aim at any part of the goal and it could be scored. When you get over to the side there reaches a certain point that your angle makes it very difficult. For example let's say you are trying to see into a room through a door. When you are directly in front of the room you can easily see the full open door area in the room. When you are at a side angle the area you can view is much less and gets less and less the closer you get to being parallel with the door.

This is generally called a window. When you can see the whole goal you have a full view but as you get towards the corner/endline the window gets smaller and smaller. I literally sit in the corner closest to where Kyle took his shot and right off his sightline and that was a tiny, tiny window he put that ball through with millimeters of placement difference that sails wide or high.

Point 5:

Scoring a goal against a great shot stopper with a defender coming into your sightline is tricky. When you factor in that the keeper is huge, 6'5 with a monster wingspan who only lead the league in GAA last year and is in a tie for 4th in Clean Sheets this year despite playing 2 less games than the top 2, it is more impressive. I will just say probably all RSL fans will take our Homeboy over any other keeper in the league but it is a very short list after him to get to Michael Gspurning. On my own personal list I would take him second after Rimando.

When you watch the goal Gspurning is in exactly the right position (just a little off his line and completely sealing the near post) and has really good technique. In fact he almost gets his hand to the shot but it was so good that it just beat him to the spot.

When you consider these 5 points combined it should really make your vote simple. Kyle Beckerman scored a goal that from a pure technical standpoint is easily the most difficult goal scored this year. You don't hear Brian Dunseth, go so over the top about things often. He generally keeps a pretty level head in his broadcasts. That is exactly the reason Dunny gets national call ups for broadcasts on a regular basis. I read a lot of people say he over reacted but he did not. He, better than you I or anyone else, knows a super difficult shot when he sees one and that shot is probably the most difficult shot you'll ever see in MLS (all things considered).

To put this in perspective I've tried searching videos of all of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (currently the 2 best strikers in the world) and neither of them have hit a goal like this. I couldn't find any that are very similar at all and would love to be shown differently. I could remember a sweet goal being scored by Brazil in a World Cup that was right off the end line but I couldn't remember who exactly scored it. This goal is more technically difficult than the goal Sabo scored around the defender and goalie in the 2011 playoffs. Do the right thing and make sure it wins GOTW.

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