The stars of MLS seem deadset on one-upping each other with AT&T 5G Goal of the Year nominees. After Lucas Zelaráyan and Pablo Ruiz hit beyond-midfield blasts in Matchdays 18 and 19, respectively, José Martinez showed up in Matchday 20 to remind us that defensive midfielders can score golazos, too. His fellow AT&G Goal of the Matchday nominees buried home some stunners as well.
Some are calling it Roberto Carlos-esque, with its nasty whip and paste. But technique-wise, Martinez's insane volley may closer resemble Benjamin Pavard's stunner from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. No matter how you slice it (pun intended), the 90th-minute blast that rescued a road point for the Philadelphia Union in their 2-2 draw against Orlando City SC is a masterpiece fit for the Louvre.
Speaking of fine art, Benjamin Bender's curling shot around New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel to secure a brace for himself and give Charlotte FC a 2-0 first-half lead was a work of immaculate beauty. But a late comeback from RBNY forced the Crown to settle for a 2-2 road draw.
And in SoCal, Preston Judd nearly steered the LA Galaxy to a fourth win of the season when he launched his body through the air for a diving header to connect on a beautiful ball from Riqui Puig, giving his team a brief 2-1 lead over visiting Sporting Kansas City. A late penalty from SKC's Alan Pulido saw the Western Conference rivals split the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
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