5 Most Thrilling Moments from the MLS Season so Far

Oliver FieldContributor IIIJuly 19, 2013

5 Most Thrilling Moments from the MLS Season so Far

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    Is it just me or does MLS keep getting better and better?

    This season has given us plenty to talk about. Some unfamiliar teams are rising to the top of the league while some big names are struggling.

    But each game is made up of moments—match defining, momentum swinging, stadium-erupting moments.

    The following are five of the best. Goals, saves and spectacular plays, these are the moments that keep us coming back.

Kofi Sarkodie, Houston Dynamo

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    Coming in at No. 5 is a ridiculous double save by Kofi Sarkodie. 

    A well-delivered ball is whipped toward the far post where it is met by Dwayne De Rosario. The prolific goal-scorer beats the Dynamo keeper with his header and looks poised to pull D.C. United within one.

    But Sarkodie had other ideas.

    He anticipates well and vacates his post in order to kneel and thigh the ball off the line for an incredible save.

    The danger is far from over, though, and the ball comes out to De Rosario for redemption. He smacks the ball on frame—only for Sarkodie to deny him yet again.

    The Dynamo defender comes sliding in, blocking the ball with his rear and preserving the 2-0 lead for Houston.

    Judging by this timely header, it's clear that Sarkodie is no stranger to the acrobatic save.

Claudio Bieler, Kansas City

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    Spain might have perfected it, but Kansas City is well on its way to developing its own tiki-taka style with plays like this.

    While the goal merely solidified the result, this moment displayed some truly remarkable movement and vision. A sight like this would have been impossible in previous seasons, but the MLS continues to attract better talent each year.

    Claudio Bieler finishes off one of the best sequences of the year with a simple tap in. Kei Kamara is released on the edge up the box but quickly squares the ball. Instead of being shot, the ball gets that extra side pass to give the Argentinian forward the easiest of finishes.

    The ease of the play and the unselfish nature in which Sporting Kansas City cut through Toronto's defense is breathtaking. They never stood a chance.

Thierry Henry, New York

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    New York may not be at the top of the table, but Thierry Henry is world class.

    Henry has scored spectacular goals throughout his career—the guy has scored hundreds—but this was special.

    At age 35, it is clear that he is slowing down. Always skillful, Henry cannot beat defenders with the lightning pace he brandished at Arsenal on a regular basis.

    What he lacks in speed, he certainly makes up for in creativity.

    New York was up by one against a great Montreal side, but with a few minutes left, anything could happen. Juninho whips in yet another great set-piece that finds its way to Henry at the back post. As if it was planned, Henry leaps to execute a textbook bicycle kick, sealing the victory in the 88th minute.

    Thierry Henry is a legend, and these moments of brilliance make New York a dangerous team.

     

     

Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Portland

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    This is what soccer is all about.

    After going behind early in the first half, the Timbers clawed their way level with a goal from Ryan Johnson. The timid affair provided few chances and looked destined to end in a 1-1 draw.

    Andrew Jean-Baptiste would not that happen.

    The Timbers won a corner kick well into stoppage time and brought the whole team up for one last opportunity. Jean-Baptiste, a center-back, beat Gyasi Zardes to the ball to send home the game winner in front of the Timbers Army.

    The come-from-behind victory was dramatic, and the moment the ball found the net, the stadium went into chaos.

    The win put the Timbers in 2nd place in the Western Conference in what has been a terrific year for the team.

     

Alan Gordon, San Jose

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    I would like to apologize to all the Galaxy fans out there.

    Yet again, Los Angeles jumped out to an early lead. The opener was a skillful exchange between Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Marcelo Sarvas. That lead was doubled after yet another combination of Donovan and Keane, before winger Hector Jimenez finished off the play.

    But the Earthquakes never surrendered. They kept the pressure up and got a goal back. Yet, despite numerous Galaxy chances, Los Angeles was unable to put the game out of reach.

    Stoppage time came and the score was still 2-1. That is until Shea Salinas pounced on a loose ball in the box to level things up. The sold out Stanford Stadium went berserk as it looked like the quakes would leave with a point.

    But there was more to come.

    Just a minute later, the Quakes pressed again. The ball was lofted invitingly toward the far post where Alan Gordon nodded home for the game winner.

    The incredible buildup and subsequent finish to a wonderful California Clasico makes this the No. 1 moment of the MLS season so far.