Decade of Stars polling hits stretch run
With less than two weeks remaining for fans to vote for their favorite all-time Los Angeles Galaxy goals, moments and players, there are a few candidates making a last-minute push toward the top of the polling.
With more than 25,000 total votes already cast, the closest races are in the polling for the best Galaxy goal in the club's first nine years. The hunt for the top goal of 1999 is a three-horse race between Danny Pena's long-range blast, Mauricio Cienfuegos' completion of a wild play and Carlos Hermosillo's clinical finish. Cienfuegos is also involved in a close battle for top goal of 2000, as two his two nominated strikes from that season are up against a blast from Cobi Jones.
A handful of other goals, such as Eduardo Hurtado's cutback and chip from 1997 and Cobi Jones' high-speed finish from 2001, still have some ground to make up, but could do so with a late push.
In the Best XI polling, there are several players who need the fans' help to move into the club's top team of all-time. At the back, Ezra Hendrickson isn't far from sliding into the Best XI's 4-4-2 formation, as long as his supporters pick up his cause. Hendrickson, who now plays for in-stadium rival Chivas USA, spent all or part of seven seasons with the Galaxy from 1997-2003, helping the club to the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and 2002 MLS Cup. His closest competitor is current Galaxy defender and Jamaican international Tyrone Marshall, one of only three current Galaxy players in the poll.
Two midfielders who could use some assistance in moving into the Best XI are former Galaxy players Simon Elliott and Martin Machon. Elliott played for the Galaxy from 1999 to 2003, notching 10 goals and 33 assists, while Machon registered 10 goals and 20 assists in just two seasons with the club (1997-98). At the forward position, Mexican national team legend Carlos Hermosillo - who notched 14 goals and 15 assists for the Galaxy from 1998-99 - could put pressure on Hurtado and Carlos Ruiz, while Jorge Campos is looking up at Kevin Hartman between the posts.
The voting for the Galaxy's best of all time ends soon, so pick your favorites now. The winners for Best XI and Best Moment will be announced shortly after the end of voting, while the top goal from each year will move on to a final round of voting that will continue through the end of the season.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.