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Final

Best of 2013

MLSsoccer.com polled 20 of our editors, writers, videographers and statistics specialists to bring you the Best of 2013, running Dec. 23 through Jan. 1. Each day we'll hand out an award in a variety of categories culled from the storylines of MLS, including Biggest Controversy, Gaffe of the Year and, via fan vote revealed on Dec. 30, the Moment of the Year. Here's this year's list of categories.


GAME OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 23

New York vs. Real Salt Lake - July 27

From the redemption of a traded player to a stunning hat-trick performance to late drama that would make even Tom Hanks jealous, the New York Red Bulls-Real Salt Lake meeting in the regular season had it all.

It all made for a chaotic but memorable game between two of MLS's marquee clubs – and MLSsoccer.com’s Game of the Year. READ ON...

 

TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 24

Mike Magee traded to the Chicago Fire

Not the fastest and certainly not the tallest or strongest player, Mike Magee reinvented himself as a deadly goal poacher, making up for his small physical stature with a keen sense of when and where to move off the ball, and how to put himself in dangerous positions.

“I tend to think I have a pretty good soccer brain,” he said in 2013. “And although I am quicker than I think I look on tape, I have always just popped up in good spots.” READ ON...

 

SUPPORTERS TIFO OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 25

Timbers Army's "Umbrella Girl" Salute

Whether it’s welcome or not, every Portlander in one way or another embraces the rain. They’re kind of forced to, considering it’s, well, always raining. The rain captures soccer in Portland, too.

It was with this in mind that the Timbers Army set about constructing the first Tifo of 2013, for the regular-season opener March 3 against the New York Red Bulls. READ ON...

 

GAFFE OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 26

"Shoegate" in San Jose

“It was really disappointing,” Gordon said at the time. “I thought we had a great performance tonight and that’s what’s going to stick out. We lost a few points there because . . . it was a mistake.

“I take full responsibility for that. I feel like I let the team down, left them without two guys. They took advantage of it and we got punished.” READ ON...

 

CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 27

Robbie Rogers Trade to LA

The LA Galaxy were bidding for an unprecedented threepeat, but they watched their championship chances take a tumble after making one of the most controversial trades in league history.

What irked supporters was, of course, not Robbie Rogers' sexuality, but rather what they were losing in Mike Magee. What, exactly, had Rogers done in recent years that indicated he could help them to a third straight MLS Cup? READ ON...

 

FANTASTIC FINISH OF THE YEAR - DECEMBER 28

Quakes Rally Past Galaxy

The couldn’t know that, for the second straight year, the San Jose Earthquakes would give them an unscheduled pyrotechnic display on the pitch as well.READ ON...

 

MOMENT OF THE YEAR -DECEMBER 29

Sporting KC win MLS Cup

We picked the nominees, you picked the winner. The Moment of the Year in MLS in 2013? Sporting Kansas City’s dramatic win over Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup in both the coldest game on record – 20 degrees at kickoff at Sporting Park in Kansas City on Dec. 7 – and the longest playoff game of all time, reaching all the way to the 10th round of a penalty shootout.

The game drew 34 percent of the final vote, followed by Portland’s postseason win over Seattle (16 percent) and Clint Dempsey being introduced in Seattle (11 percent).READ ON...

 

STORY OF THE YEAR -DECEMBER 30

Clint Dempsey Returns to MLS

It started as a low rumble of rumors, seemingly little more than a fevered mumbling of “silly season” gossip. Yet that ripple – fuelled, as is so often the case these days, by social media – suddenly swelled into something bigger. Something that took hold of the faithful and fanciful first, but quickly swept like wildfire among those millions paying even the slightest bit of attention to soccer in the United States.

It wasn't a rock star, or a political icon, or an NFL or NBA headliner that was causing all this ruckus. Clint Dempsey was coming home. READ ON...

 

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF 2014 - DECEMBER 31

Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution

You better believe U-20 national team boss Tab Ramos pined after the services of Diego Fagundez this summer at the World Cup in Turkey. There may come a day – sooner rather than later, if a standout 2013 was any indication – that Jurgen Klinsmann is calling up the 18-year-old at his parent’s house to see how Fagundez’s quest for United States citizenship is coming.

That is, if Uruguay (or Europe) don’t get to one of Major League Soccer’s next breakout star first.READ ON...

 

STORYLINES OF 2014 - JANUARY 1

Which Stories Will You Follow in 2014?

We wrap up the series with our annual look at the year ahead. What are the biggest storylines on deck in 2014? We asked our editors and contributors to offer up their take on the one storyline they're most interested in this year.

Let us know what you'll be watching for in 2014 in our poll! READ ON...