Sometimes having two players from the same team nominated for the AT&T Goal of the Week award can decrease both candidates’ chances of victory, due to the possibility of the votes from their team’s fans being “split” between them.
Not so in Week 30.
Atlanta United forward Hector “Tito” Villalba edged out his teammate Julian Gressel in this week’s poll as the Five Stripes stars finished 1-2 in the final count, underlining the quality of both players’ goals – and the strength in numbers of ATL’s devoted supporters.
Villalba’s gorgeous first-time curling, dipping strike from distance in ATLUTD's 4-3 midweek comeback win at San Jose finished with 44 percent of the ballots cast, while Gressel’s clinical half-volley in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Real Salt Lake garnered 29 percent.
The long-range blast from Portland Timbers fullback Alvas Powell came in third (15 percent), followed by efforts from Earthquakes playmaker Vako (10 percent) and Chicago Fire winger Aleksandar Katai (2 percent).
Villalba, Gressel and the rest of the Five Stripes return to match play on Sunday, as they visit the New York Red Bulls in a keenly-anticipated clash between the top two teams in the Supporters’ Shield standings (1 pm ET | ESPN – Full TV and streaming info).
Check out video of all five goals along with the final Week 30 voting results.