A spectacular 18-yard strike by D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian in a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Crew last Saturday was voted by fans as the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week for the week ending June 20 (Week 12). The goal was Eskandarian's first in MLS since his tally which captured Sierra Mist Goal of the Week honors in the season opener on April 3 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Goal of the Week winner is determined from a selection of finalists through a fan vote conducted on the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week section of Major League Soccer's official web site: www.MLSnet.com. Watch the goal here.
Eskandarian's goal (37 percent) was chosen ahead of New England Revolution forward Clint Dempsey's (22 percent), who for the second consecutive week had a diving header for a goal finish second in the balloting. Also receiving votes was the 88th career goal by Dallas Burn forward Jason Kreis which tied him for the MLS all-time goal-scoring record, the 90th minute game-winner scored by MetroStars forward Mike Magee and Eskandarian's free kick strike, his second of the game against Columbus.
In the 34th minute of the game, following a nifty series of one-touch passing, Eskandarian took the ball from the left side and laid it off to teammate Demo Kovalenko, who in turn sent it toward Jaime Moreno at the top of the box. With his back to goal, Moreno then flicked the ball with the outside of his right foot to Eskandarian who struck a half-volley in full stride from the left corner of the penalty area. His strike to the far right post left Columbus goalkeeper Jon Busch unable to react to the blast.
"My eyes kind of lit up when it bounced to me and it went exactly where I wanted it to go," said Eskandarian.
Goals by D.C. United players have earned five of the 12 Sierra Mist Goal of the Week honors thus far this season, with Eskandarian winning twice (Week 1). Jaime Moreno (Week 7), Freddy Adu (Week 8) and the recently released Ronald Cerritos (Week 2) have also been recognized for their goal-scoring efforts.
Streaming video highlights and goals from MLS games are available for viewing every weekend on www.MLSnet.com just hours after the conclusion of the final match of the weekend. The Sierra Mist Goal of the Week winner is announced the following Wednesday.
At the end of the regular season, each of the 29 Goal of the Week winners selected throughout the season will be featured in voting for the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Year, an award presented annually to the author of the season's most spectacular scoring play. The Sierra Mist Goal of the Year award will be presented at the annual gala awards ceremony in the days leading up to MLS Cup 2004.
2004 SIERRA MIST GOAL OF THE WEEK WINNERS:
Week 1: Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United)
Week 2: Ronald Cerritos (D.C. United)
Week 3: Dwayne De Rosario (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 4: Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 5: Joe Franchino (New England Revolution)
Week 6: Cornell Glen (MetroStars)
Week 7: Jaime Moreno (D.C. United)
Week 8: Freddy Adu (D.C. United)
Week 9: John Wolyniec (MetroStars)
Week 10: Damani Ralph (Chicago Fire)
Week 11: Jeff Agoos (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 12: Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United)