Shkelzen Gashi wins AT&T Goal of the Year; Joe Bendik wins MLS Save of the Year
AT&T Goal of the Year revealed live on FS1 during halftime of U.S. Men’s National Team versus Mexico match
NEW YORK, NY (Friday, November 11, 2016) – Major League Soccer today announced Colorado Rapids midfielder Shkelzen Gashi as the AT&T Goal of the Year winner and Orlando City SC goalkeeper Joe Bendik as the MLS Save of the Year winner. The AT&T Goal of the Year was revealed live on FS1 during halftime of the World Cup Qualifying match featuring the U.S. Men’s National Team against Mexico at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Claiming more than 75% of the final head-to-head vote for AT&T Goal of the Year, Gashi’s spectacular set-piece finish on September 24 became the top-rated goal of the 2016 season, as voted on by fans. With a direct kick placed just outside the 18-yard box, Gashi broke Colorado’s 2-2 tie with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the 75th minute, when his phenomenal left-footed strike curved around Vancouver’s defensive wall and into the top corner.
Creating the goalkeeping highlight of the season, Orlando City SC’s Bendik earned MLS Save of the Year after making two stops in the span of 10 seconds with his performance in the 45th minute against Sporting Kansas City on May 15. After perfectly reading a through ball played in behind his back line, Bendik laid out to block Dom Dwyer’s one-v-one scoring opportunity before perfectly positioning himself to make another diving save that pushed Graham Zusi’s shot at the top of the box away from the lower corner of the goal.
The AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year awards were determined by fan votes through bracket-style head-to-head matchups on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App. The bracket of 64 nominees progressed through five rounds of voting to select the single best goal and save of the MLS season. The MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selected the 64 AT&T Goal of the Year nominees after scouring all 956 goals scored this season, including the 32 AT&T Goal of the Week winners. The Save of the Year nominees, also selected by the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff, included the 32 Save of the Week winners.
All-Time MLS Goal of the Year Winners:
2016: Shkelzen Gashi – Colorado Rapids | 9/24/16 v Vancouver Whitecaps, 75th minute
2015: Krisztian Nemeth – Sporting Kansas City | 10/4/15 v Portland Timbers, 83rd minute
2014: Obafemi Martins – Seattle Sounders FC | 5/23/2014 v San Jose Earthquakes, 8th minute
2013: Camilo Sanvezzo – Vancouver Whitecaps FC | 10/6/2013 v Portland Timbers, 78th minute
2012: Patrick Ianni – Seattle Sounders FC | 06/20/12 v Sporting Kansas City, 15th minute
2011: Darlington Nagbe – Portland Timbers | 07/02/11 v Sporting Kansas City, 45th minute
2010: Marco Pappa – Chicago Fire | 04/10/10 v San Jose Earthquakes, 52nd minute
2009: Landon Donovan – Los Angeles Galaxy | 08/08/09 v New England Revolution, 21st min.
2008: Will Johnson – Real Salt Lake | 10/18/08 v FC Dallas, 54th minute
2007: Cuauhtemoc Blanco – Chicago Fire | 08/18/07 v Real Salt Lake, 43rd minute
2006: Brian Ching – Houston Dynamo | 09/30/06 v D.C. United, 86th minute
2005: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes | 10/15/05 v Los Angeles Galaxy, 45th minute
2004: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes | 08/07/04 v D.C. United, 82nd minute
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire | 08/13/03 v Columbus Crew, 90th minute
2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy | 07/27/02 v Columbus Crew, 75th minute
2001: Clint Mathis – MetroStars | 04/28/01 v Dallas Burn, 60th minute
2000: Marcelo Balboa – Colorado Rapids | 04/22/00 v Columbus Crew, 55th minute
1999: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United | 05/22/99 v Miami Fusion, 90th minute
1998: Brian McBride – Columbus Crew | 07/09/98 v Chicago Fire, 68th minute
1997: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United | 08/27/97 v New England Revolution, 39th minute
1996: Eric Wynalda – San Jose Clash | 04/06/96 v. D.C. United, 88th minute
All-Time MLS Save of the Year Winners:
2016: Joe Bendik – Orlando City SC | 5/15/16 v Sporting Kansas City, 45th minute
2015: Adam Kwarasey – Portland Timbers | 8/15/15 v Real Salt Lake, 31st minute
2014: Luis Robles – New York Red Bulls | 9/20/14 v Seattle Sounders FC, 69th minute
2013: Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake | 8/3/13 v Colorado Rapids, 53rd minute
2012: Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake | 4/14/12 v Sporting Kansas City, 75th minute
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC | 10/15/11 v San Jose Earthquakes, 64th minute
2010: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC | 04/17/10 v Kansas City Wizards, 92nd minute
2009: Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo | 04/19/09 v Colorado Rapids, 83rd minute