Dax McCarty - New York Red Bulls - celebrates a goal with teammates
USA Today Sports

Best of 2016: The five best games of the MLS regular season

In the crazy, wonderful season that was 2016, there were so many great stories that developed — and so many great games that made the season memorable.

Our editors discussed, debated and came up with a list of the five best games of 2016. Check them out and see if you agree.

May 21: New York City FC 0, New York Red Bulls 7 

After getting swept by their cross-river rivals in the season series in their inaugural season in 2015, NYCFC was expecting things would be different in the New York derby in their second season. But in the teams' first meeting of 2016, the Red Bulls not only kept their winning ways going against their upstart neighbors but they utterly humiliated the new boys on their home field of Yankee Stadium. Dax McCarty scored two goals, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored on a bicycle kick, and all told, five different players scored for the visitors, who tied the league record for margin of victory. Looking for silver linings, both Frank Lampard and Jack Harrison made their season debuts for NYCFC in the game, and in their next meeting, NYCFC would get their first win in the derby, beating the Red Bulls 2-0 on July 3. But on this day, things were pretty ugly for Patrick Vieira's team.

September 18: Toronto FC 3, New York Red Bulls 3

Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged two goals, his 19th and 20th of the season, making him the first player in MLS history to record a second 20-goal season, and the Red Bulls looked to be cruising to an easy victory. But Jozy Altidore scored a late brace of his own to power a stunning comeback by the Reds. For the Red Bulls, it was another late lead lost in a season full of them. For TFC, it was a sign that they just might be in the middle of a very special season.

September 24: Vancouver Whitecaps 3, Colorado Rapids 3

With the playoffs looking out of reach, Vancouver seemingly posed little threat to the Rapids, who spent most of the season at or near the top of the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield standings. But the 'Caps would not be denied. Three times Colorado scored to take the lead, and each time Vancouver came back to tie, the final time on Erik Hurtado's goal in the third and final minute of stoppage time. That goal denied Colorado the full three points, after they'd seemed to wrap it up with Shkelzen Gashi's brilliant 75th-minute free kick. Those two lost points ended up being the margin by which Colorado finished second to FC Dallas in the Supporters' Shield. Also of note, Vancouver's 15-year-old Alphonso Davies went the full 90, becoming the second-youngest player in MLS history to start a game.

September 25: LA Galaxy 2, Seattle Sounders 4

The Galaxy had a chance to clinch a playoff spot; Seattle was still furiously trying to make up enough ground to get in. And two goals by eventual MLS AT&T Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris did the trick for Seattle, pushing them to victory for the first time in 11 tries in Carson, Calif. It was also the Galaxy's first home loss of the year. 

October 1: New York Red Bulls 3, Philadelphia Union 2

With the Red Bulls in a dogfight with bitter rivals New York City FC and Toronto FC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Dax McCarty provided the winner in a tight, entertaining contest in Harrison. Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake made five saves and RBNY counterpart Luis Robles did his part as well as the Red Bulls earned three points to lift them into a tie for first in the East with NYCFC, two points ahead of Toronto. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 21st goal of the season for New York, and Sacha Kljestan had a goal and an assist in what players and coaches from both sides called a "playoff atmosphere."