MLSsoccer.com polled 20 of our editors, writers, videographers and statistics specialists to bring you the Best of 2012, running Dec. 17 through Jan. 2. Each day we'll hand out an award in a variety of categories culled from the storylines of MLS and US international players, including Biggest Controversy, Breakout Player of the Year and, via fan vote revealed on Dec. 31, the Moment of the Year.
Managing editor Jonah Freedman breaks down the winner of the MLS Broadcaster Call of the Year, given this year to San Jose Earthquakes play-by-play man Jim Kozimor.
How nice must it be to be Jim Kozimor? The San Jose Earthquakes gave their play-by-play man assist after assist during the 2012 season.
They scored 40 goals after the 60th minute of matches. Twenty-two of those strikes came after the 75th minute. A further eight came in second-half stoppage time, an MLS record.
All three marks are club records. And almost all gave Kozimor a new opportunity to go nuts as “The Goonies” bagged dramatic result after dramatic result.
Perhaps fittingly, it was one of the earliest “Goonie” goals that hooked Kozimor this year’s MLS Broadcaster Call of the Year, one in which he really didn’t have time to think up something clever.
With Columbus leading San Jose 1-0 in the 90th minute of a May 19 encounter at Buck Shaw Stadium, he just watched in awe as Alan Gordon blasted a shot of the crossbar in the 90th minute, stuck with the rebound and then acrobatically scissor-kicked the rebound back into the back of the net for a last-gasp equalizer.
And there was just one possible explanation for how it happened:
“Alan Gordon is an animal!”
2. Ross Fletcher, Fredy Montero’s 35-yard laser beam vs. LA Galaxy, May 2
Fletcher was nearly as surprised as the packed house at CenturyLink Field on this one. And why not? A stunning strike that was a worthy AT&T Goal of the Year finalist: “Montero ... plenty of options ... one of which is an absolutely fantastic strike!”
3. John Strong/John Spencer, Darlington Nagbe’s poach job vs. FC Dallas, March 17
Strong won this award last year on a Nagbe goal, and it’s like they planned this repeat candidate in advance. The Timbers play-by-play man was in the middle of an in-game sideline interview with then head coach Spencer, asking him what Nagbe could provide off the bench. On cue, Nagbe answered with his right foot ... and Spencer punctuated it with his vocal chords.