The end of the year has come so quickly we haven't even managed to finish up our Goal of the Month competitions. No matter: time waits for no blog. The New York Red Bulls' 2015 season is complete. All the goals that will be scored by RBNY this year have been scored. It is time to pick the best.
RBNY scored 73 goals in all competitions in 2015. As well as six in mid-season friendlies, and 12 in preseason. And NYRB II had 46 goals in USL. That's a lot of goals to choose from, but don't worry: Once A Metro has made it easier on you by doing all the arguing over a shortlist on your behalf. Bonds of respect and friendship, most of a couch, and any hope of having an actual office have been destroyed so that you can save your energy for voting for whichever of the four nominees below you like best. And then head to the comments and remind us of what we should have included.
In the order in which they were scored over the course of the 2015 season:
1. Grella makes his mark: @ Columbus Crew, March 28 (RBNY won 2-1)
My favorite thing about this goal is not that it was a fantastic strike, or that it beat Columbus (little did we know how difficult that would prove to be later in the year), or that it was Mike Grella's first-ever competitive goal for RBNY. It is the commentary.
When the goal is scored, the commentator attributes the goal to "the guy that just came in the game". And then there is silence. It takes about eight seconds for someone to figure out his name: "Grella...re-establishes the New York lead," says the man on TV, in a tone that suggests he's not entirely sure he's right about the name of this guy who just one-touched the ball over Steve Clark from about 25 yards out.
When Grella scored his first goal for RBNY, he was an off-the-bench option whose name wasn't even familiar to those paid to be familiar with the names of MLS players. Times changed; we all know Mike Grella's name now.
2. Grella bests Benfica: vs Benfica, July 26 (RBNY won 2-1)
The question is not whether goal in friendlies should count. We settled that behind the scenes at the cost of half a couch and no small amount of dignity.
The question is whether a player who can curl the ball into the top corner from 20 yards shouldn't maybe take free kicks every once in a while. Why doesn't Mike Grella take free kicks?
3. Grella finds BWP: vs D.C. United, August 30 (RBNY won 3-0)
Is perfection Grella's sublime hooked cross? Or is it BWP's unerring ability to find space? Or his never-in-doubt volley past Bill Hamid? Perhaps it is all three, combining for one magnificent goal.
4. Grella breaks a record: vs Philadelphia Union, October 18 (RBNY won 4-1)
The record for the fastest goal in MLS history belongs to Mike Grella.
One way or another, you're voting for Mike Grella. RBNY's 2015 season is mostly a Grella highlight reel. For which we thank the man himself, and invite you to choose which highlight was the most memorable.