Todd Dunivant's goal from a header in the 61st minute of the Los Angeles Galaxy's June 17 match with the Portland Timbers was a defining moment for the MLS in 2012.
You're probably wondering why I would pick a goal that wasn't in a playoff game or that wasn't a long-distance bomb (which I'm a big fan of).
Coming into the match, the Galaxy were 3-8-2 and in ninth place in the Western Conference. They hadn't won a match since April 14th, a seven-match span in which they went 0-5-2.
How hot did the Galaxy get after this match? Including this match, they went 13-4-4 the rest of the season, 43 of their 54 points coming during that stretch.
It's not a stretch to say the Galaxy needed something to kick-start their season. They had already gotten knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup and wouldn't start in the CONCACAF Champions League until late August.
Now, Scott French wrote on MLSsoccer.com that the Galaxy's "best moment of the year" was probably Omar Gonzalez's equalizer in the MLS Cup. The thing is, not that I'm totally disagreeing with Scott, but if Dunivant's goal doesn't happen, it's that much harder for the Galaxy to make the playoffs, much less repeat as MLS Cup winners.
You might think I'm wrong and you might not. Would I have picked this goal had the Galaxy not ended up winning the MLS Cup? Probably not. I'm not a fan of the Galaxy and have no reason to say anything nice about them.
Let me know in the comments below what your league-defining goal was. Who knows, I might even change my mind and agree with you.