Seattle Sounders defender Patrick Ianni won the 2012 Goal of the Year in Major League Soccer. Ianni’s goal June 20 against Sporting Kansas City topped a strike by Portland’s Darlington Nagbe against Real Salt Lake, and a long-range blast by Seattle’s Fredy Montero’s against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
On the winning play, Patrick launched himself horizontally to meet Mauro Rosales’ curling free kick with a right-footed side volley inside the near post. The goal tied the match in the 15th minute and the game ended 1-1. It marked Ianni’s first goal of the season — the fourth of his seven-year career – and was selected MLS Goal of the Week.
“It was a special moment for the team and the organization,” Ianni said. “Watching the fans reactions was the best. I felt just like them when I watch the clip.”
The award marks the first time that a Seattle player has earned Goal of the Year. Kasey Keller previously won Save of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
The AT&T Goal of the Year was determined by an online and text fan vote, after 64 initial nominations for the award were eventually narrowed to four finalists. The final poll results:
- Patrick Ianni, Seattle vs. Sporting Kansas City, June 20, 33.1%
- Darlington Nagbe, Portland vs. RSL, March 31, 25.1%
- Fredy Montero, Seattle vs. Los Angeles, May 2, 22.8%
- Lee Nguyen, New England vs. Vancouver, May 12, 19.0%