That’s a wrap, another MLS season in the books. Arguable the best one yet. The MLS has come a long way since the ten team league of 1993. This year did not disappoint with excitement, heart breaking upsets, epic comebacks, stunning new talent, and heated competition. Here are our favorite bits a pieces from the MLS 2015.
Most Stressful Match of the Year:
This one is a no brainer. Without a doubt the most stressful finish to any match this season was Portland Timbers vs Sporting Kansas City’s epic Playoff knockout round shootout. After the full 90 minutes and additional 15 minute halves, the teams found themselves at a 2-2 draw, resulting in a nail biting shootout that would go through both teams entire roster. Sporting KC had the upper hand on numerous occasions but were unable to finish when it mattered most. Portland advanced and would go on to win the whole thing just a couple weeks later.
Watch it all go down:
M.V.D.P. (Most Valuable Designated Player)
This year enticed a wide range of designated players to the league. No doubt additions of football legends like Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo were exciting. After all, it is not often in the US that you get a chance to see a world class great, let alone on your team. But the majority of designated players added to the MLS roster continued to uphold the leagues reputation of being “where legends go to die.” Then there’s Giovinco…
Toronto FC literally owes their season to the Italian stud, Sebastian Giovinco, who joined the team at the peak of his career. Giovinco was wildly successful in Seria A winning two titles with Juventus, as well as being a vital member of the Italian National Team. His choice to move to the MLS isn’t just exciting for Toronto, but exciting for the entire league. Players like Giovinco are what will elevate the MLS to ultimately becoming competitive on a world stage, and I’m sure Toronto isn’t sad about the 38 goals/assists that paved their way to a first ever playoff appearance.
If you saw the tifos from MLS opening weekend then you already knew there was going to be some extraordinary supporter displays this season. There were so many good ones we couldn’t pick just one.
“Indiana” Jermaine Jones: Nice work New England. You can almost hear that theme music (which of course was blaring over the stadium speakers as it was unveiled) just looking at the photo. The quest for the MLS Cup really is the search for the Holy Grail. There is so much awesomeness in this one, but the best part is that this tifo was created in partnership with the Boston Children’s Hospital with the aid of some incredibly talented young artists. Now that is cool.
Timbers Ride the Bull: The Timbers Army is known throughout the league for orchestrating off some of the most extravagant tifos in the league. So naturally in Western Conference Finals against FC Dallas, Portland pulled out all the stops. Let’s face it, just the size of the display alone is pretty damn impressive. There’s banners, a clever play on words, a great deal of coordination with individuals, and obviously a whole lot of time and planning. This is commitment to your club, Bravo.
I mean I suppose eventually they were going to have to give Best Goal of the Year to someone else, but Obafemi Martin’s goal against the Colorado Rapids was nothing short of remarkable. A perfectly timed dance, spinning between defenders while maintaining flawless control of the ball before ripping it into the back of the net. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
It just needs to be said...WE LOVE THE NEWBIES!
Being the new kid in town is tough. It’s almost expected that you will fall flat on your face. This year debuted two new expansions to the league, and they rose above expectations. New York City FC and Orlando City SC both made a hard run in their first season, Orlando City nearly slipping into post season. And perhaps most importantly their supporters let themselves be seen and heard. Both expansions found themselves at the top of the league for attendance, short of Seattle. Orlando at #2 with an average of 32,847 and NYCFC at #3 with 29,016. We are looking forward to watching these clubs flourish.
Honestly we were shocked that this was not voted to MLS’s Save of the Year. This is goaltending at its finest. Not just one, but two incredible saves made by Luis Robles robbed the Timbers of a victory and gave the New York Red Bulls another clean sheet. Simply stunning.
This crown goes to Sporting KC in their April matchup against Philadelphia Union. Going into stoppage time Philadelphia held the lead 2-1 over Kansas, but the match isn’t over till the final whistle. Sporting KC made those extra minutes count scoring the equalizer less than a minute into stoppage time, and following it up with the game winner. FT: SKC 3-2
Do you have a favorite memory from this season? Share it below in the comments