Best Of

Best Of: How MLS social made us laugh, think, and cry in 2017

Bastian Schweinsteiger - Takes picture OF fan at Toronto airport - April 2017

Editor's Note

As the year comes toward a close, it's a natural time to reflect, especially because even if you were struggling on the field, you can still chalk up a "W" on social media. Here's a look at 2017's best MLS moments to take place on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
—Ben Couch, Senior Editor | Dec. 23, 2017

West Coast Twitter Feud

It didn't take long for social media warriors with the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers to get into it this season.

In Portland's 1-0 win in Week 2, then-Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme was sent off after receiving yellow cards for fouls on Portland's Diego Chara and David Guzman. Believing both decisions more than a little harsh, the Galaxy responded with a their contribution to the Shooting Stars video meme:

March 13, 2017

The folks at the Timbers apparently had a long memory. And after winning the return fixture 3-1 at Providence Park on Aug. 6, rubbed salt in the wound with a scientific mini-mockumentary about the Galaxy's "Fading Star Phenomenon":

Cascadia Playoff Banter

Speaking of Western Conference Twitter feuds, the Vancouver Whitecaps celebrated the expansion of Twitter to 280 characters with a solid joke.

But the Seattle Sounders, who had just shut out the Whitecaps in their Western Conference Semifinal series, dunked on Vancouver's joke.

Packing Them In

There are few things more stirring than an intense crowd that packs a soccer stadium to its rafters. And in the case of Atlanta United's sell-out against Orlando City SC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in September, a picture painted at least 1000 words.


Although Italian legend Andrea Pirlo found his role with New York City FC diminished in his final pro season, he left no doubts about his off-the-field presence when he announced his retirement earlier this November.

The gesture unleashed an avalanche posts with the hashtag #GrazieMaestro, ranging from highlights from his greatest moments to heartfelt messages from the likes of former Portuguese international Rui Costa.

So is it a diamond midfield?

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Real Salt Lake announced a highly unusual lineup 90 minutes before their penultimate match of the regular season in Colorado. From this picture, the best guess is Mike Petke intended to play a 5-3-1-2 without a goalkeeper and with the Printer at attacking midfield.

Strangers on the flight

Back in April, the Chicago Fire were leaving for a big early-season game at Toronto FC when a passerby recognized the team and asked for a picture. Only she didn't quite recognize everyone on the team, notably midfielder-turned-photographer Bastian Schweinsteiger.

A different kind of hat trick

Embracing a local culture where style and creativity are important, LAFC went chose a sleek, modern and minimalist approach to unveiling their new head coach in July:

Then came the signing of Carlos Vela the next month, and the loan for Omar Gaber this November.

Darlington and the Deuce

During the US men's national team's run to winning the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Timbers midfielder Darlington Nabge fooled Sounders striker Clint Dempsey into giving a shout out to his enemy city. Well, almost.

Mistaken identity

In October, Philadelphia Union reserve Aaron Jones started getting an awful lot of social media attention from adoring fans -- Green Bay Packers fans, to be exact.

After the NFL running back with the same name ran for 125 yards and a score in the Packers' 35-30 victory over the Cowboys on Oct. 8, Philadelphia's Aaron Jones started receiving some of the credit. Though he tried to set the record straight.

And eventually, Aaron Jones virtually "met" Aaron Jones.

In on the joke

March was a simpler time, when the biggest scandal surrounding the 2018 World Cup was a reporter who foolishly asked whether Schweinsteiger believed his new Fire team could win the darned thing.

Fortunately, the folks in Bridgeview showed a sense of humor about it during one of Schweinsteiger's early-season training sessions.