The 2018 MLS season was filled with some glorious moments. With some outstanding players in the league this season was bound to have some world-class moments of brilliance.
From the aged Europeans who brought spectacles to the young homegrowns who shared in the stardom, I present to you five individual moments of brilliance in the 2018 Major League Soccer season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs LAFC
The first one that came to mind is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace on his debut for the LA Galaxy. The Swedish superstar might just be the biggest name to ever enter the league, and in typical Zlatan fashion, he put on a show.
Entering the field in the 71st minute of play, Zlatan quickly made the difference for the Gals. His goal in the 77th minute is “the moment: but the Swede also scored a phenomenal headed after to seal the game in the dying moments of the game.
Zlatan unleashed a shot from 40 yards out which looped perfectly over the head of Tyler Miller to equalize the scoreline. Ibra, not shy to celebrate, ripped off his jersey and celebrated with open arms. A goal that not many could repliacate.
Wayne Rooney vs Orlando City SC
Sorry Orlando fans, this is just your first mention on the list. Like Zlatan, Rooney came from overseas in hopes of turning his season around, and like Zlatan, Rooney is capable of producing magic.
Perhaps the most magical moment in his early days in a D.C. United jersey was not a goal. Rooney’s game-winning assist to Luciano Acosta in the dying moments of a match against OCSC went viral. Well, he did more than just get an assist.
Wayne Rooney hustled to stop a counter attack (in which OCSC had a clear run on goal with their goalkeeper in OCSC’s box for the corner kick) and made a phenomenal sliding challenge before keeping the ball in play.
Rooney then placed a pass from midfield perfectly on the head of Luciano Acosta, the smallest player on the field, who headed home the game-winning goal. Words don’t do this play justice, let me show you.
Sebastian Blanco vs Sporting Kansas City
The lone playoff moment on this list comes from a player who stands at the same height as Luciano Acosta. While losing to Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference final, the Portland Timber man equalized the score and got Portland right back into the game with a wonderful effort.
After skipping around Roger Espinoza, Blanco drilled an effort over a diving Tim Melia. This goal was not only wonderful regardless of the scenario, but would have been an important goal no matter how he had scored. The circumstances make the goal much better.
Alphonso Davies vs D.C. United
Davies had a breakout season for the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2018. He scored phenomenal goals, and towards the end of the season, the 17-year-old seemed unstoppable. After announcing his move to Bayern München at the conclusion of the MLS season, Davies put on a show to wrap up his MLS days.
His best goal came against D.C. United, as it was one of the few moments they suffered through in the later stages of the season. Davies took on four defenders, beating them all with a bit of trickery before sending a shot into the goal. While the moment was nothing more than a consolation goal, it was brilliant.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi vs Toronto FC
New York City FC had some great individual moments this season, and with players like David Villa and Maxi Moralez, those will be promised every year, but perhaps the best individual moment came from an unlikely hero.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored plenty of beautiful goals throughout his debut season in MLS, but the best of the bunch came as a late winner against Toronto FC.
In the 88th minute, Isi hit a volley from outside the penalty area that flew into the goal and gave NYCFC a late lead. It is nearly impossible to hit a ball as cleanly as this, which is why it makes the list.
This season was full of wonderful goals and moments, as most MLS seasons are, and I, along with plenty of others, are expecting much of the same in 2019.
If you’re a fan of soccer and haven’t gotten around to watch the league in the past, I highly suggest you do so in 2019. The league is entertaining both on and off the field and with expansion teams like Atlanta, it continues to be the quickest growing league in the world.