Over the course of 25 seasons, Major League Soccer has featured a number of world-class goals from standout players.
During prematch coverage of tonight's 2020 MLS Cup between Columbus Crew SC and Seattle Sounders FC, MLS unveiled the 25 sublime goals that comprise the fan ballot. Supporters can visit MLSsoccer.com to cast their vote for the best-all-time goal until Wednesday, Dec. 16, at noon CT.
Zusi's long-range bomb on the evening on June 12, 2011—which highlighted a 4-1 road win over FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium—was significant for multiple reasons.
For one, it sits among the best strikes in club history and one of the finest flashes of brilliance in Zusi's heralded career. Secondly, it marks a decisive turning point for Zusi, who used his superb performance that evening as a launching pad toward 2011 MLS Breakout Player of the Year honors. Third, it kickstarted Sporting's incredible rise from last place in the Eastern Conference in June to first place by season's end.
In the years that followed, Zusi would earn two MLS Best XI selections and Sporting would win four major championships as a perennial title contender under Manager Peter Vermes. In hindsight, it's clear that Zusi's thunderbolt against Dallas was a defining part of the special transformation Sporting underwent in the early 2010s.
Zusi, who in 2021 is slated to become the first player to spend 13 seasons at Sporting, faces stiff competition in The Greatest Goal competition. MLS legends such as Landon Donovan, Marco Etcheverry, Robbie Keane, Taylor Twellman, Sebastian Giovinco and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all on the ballot, with the winner to be announced this Thursday, Dec. 17.
A member of Sporting since 2009, Zusi ranks second in club history in games, starts and minutes across all competitions. He is also second on Sporting's all-time assists chart with 81 and places eighth with 32 goals. In addition to winning the 2013 MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2012, 2015 and 2017, Zusi amassed five goals and seven assists in 55 caps for the U.S. Men's National Team from 2012-2017. He notably represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he recorded two assists on the sport's biggest stage.