NEW YORK - A mid-air chip by New England Revolution captain Steve Ralston, the gamewinner in Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire, was voted the final Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week of the 2004 season for the week ending October 17, 2004 (Week 29). Ralston's seventh goal of the season tied his career high set in the 1996 and 2001 seasons while with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and allowed the Revs to clinch a playoff berth for the third consecutive year.
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.
After both teams had traded goals only minutes before, Ralston tallied the eventual game-winner in the 58th minute. Midfielder Jose Cancela lofted a well-weighted ball over the top of the Fire defense into the area, and Ralston met it in mid-air with the inside of his right boot, lifting it over goalkeeper Henry Ring at the far post. This was the second time Ralston won the weekly award this year, capturing the honor in Week 15 for a free kick goal against the same Fire.
Ralston's goal (29 percent of the fan vote) beat out a long range strike from the MetroStars' Ricardo Clark (28 percent) by nine votes, the second closest voting of the season. Goals by D.C. United's Christian Gomez, Eddie Johnson of the Dallas Burn, and the Revolution's Clint Dempsey also received votes.
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, presented annually to the author of the season's most spectacular scoring play, beginning Sunday, October 24 on the League's official website, www.MLSnet.com. The Sierra Mist Goal of the Year award will be announced 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)
Week 13: Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 14: Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United)
Week 15: Steve Ralston (New England Revolution)
Week 16: Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 17: Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards)
Week 18: Amado Guevara (MetroStars)
Week 19: Dwayne De Rosario (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 20: Matt Crawford (Colorado Rapids)
Week 21: Ross Paule (Columbus Crew)
Week 22: Ronnie O'Brien (Dallas Burn)
Week 23: Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)
Week 24: Tony Sanneh (Columbus Crew)
Week 25: Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United)
Week 26: Cornell Glen (MetroStars)
Week 27: Andy Herron (Chicago Fire)
Week 28: Edson Buddle (Columbus Crew)
Week 29: Steve Ralston (New England Revolution)