After they set so many off-field records and turned so many heads with their electric attacking play, it’s only appropriate that an Atlanta United player won 2017 AT&T Goal of the Year.
Designated Player Hector Villalba took home the honor, winning the fan vote for his laser strike in Atlanta’s 1-0 win at Orlando City SC on July 21.
The finish was more than worthy of AT&T Goal of the Year. With the match tied at 0-0 in the 86th minute, Villalba picked up a throw-in on the left flank and cut into the middle on his right foot. No Orlando defenders closed him down, and Villalba, after taking a quick peek at goal, slammed a right-footed rocket into the top-right corner from 30 yards out to give the Five Stripes a dramatic road victory.
Villalba finished the 2017 season with 13 goals and 11 assists. The 23-year-old started all 35 of Atlanta’s regular season and playoff matches.
Goal of the Year Winners
- 1996: Eric Wynalda - SJ vs DC on April 6, 1996
- 1997: Marco Etcheverry - DC vs NE on August 27, 1997
- 1998: Brian McBride - CLB vs CHI on July 9, 1998
- 1999: Marco Etcheverry - DC vs MIA on May 22, 1999
- 2000: Marcelo Balboa - COL vs CLB on April 22, 2000
- 2001: Clint Mathis - NY vs DAL on April 28, 2001
- 2002: Carlos Ruiz - LA vs CLB on July 27, 2002
- 2003: Damani Ralph - CHI sv CLB on August 13, 2003
- 2004: Dwayne De Rosario - SJ vs DC on August 2, 2004
- 2005: Dwayne De Rosario - SJ vs LA on October 15, 2005
- 2006: Brian Ching - HOU vs DC on September 30, 2006
- 2007: Cuauhtémoc Blanco - CHI vs RSL on August 18, 2007
- 2008: Will Johnson - RSL vs DAL on October 18, 2008
- 2009: Landon Donovan - LA vs NE on August 8, 2009
- 2010: Marco Pappa - CHI vs SJ on April 10, 2010
- 2011: Darlington Nagbe - POR vs SKC on July 2, 2011
- 2012: Patrick Ianni - SEA vs SKC on June 20, 2012
- 2013: Camilo Sanvezzo - VAN vs POR on October 6, 2013
- 2014: Obafemi Martins - SEA vs SJ on May 17, 2014
- 2015: Krisztian Nemeth - SKC vs POR on October 3, 2015
- 2016: Shkelzen Gashi - VAN vs COL on September 24, 2016