Breaking down the Top 10 moments so far in the 2017 MLS season

With the Gold Cup break providing a chance to reflect on a season that has certainly lived up to the hype, let's take a look back at what has judged to be the 10 most memorable moments of the first half of the 2017 campaign.

10. He's (Almost) on Fire!

After coming close several times, Josef Martinez finally found a deserved winner in Atlanta United's 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on June 24. Then the red-hot forward almost literally lived up to his scoring form in a close call with stadium pyrotechnics behind the goal.

9. A Home Snow-pener

The result on the scoreboard was far from ideal, but for Minnesota United supporters, the their team's inaugural home MLS game on March 12 felt quite literally like a White Christmas.

8. David does it from Distance

Of all the special moments produced by New York City FC's David Villa, his 50-yard strike to seal a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on April 14 is right up there among the best.

7. Van Damme gets the hook

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LA Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo made a message-sending substitution, removing Jelle Van Damme after his team fell behind by two goals early in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on May 6. The move worked, with the Galaxy earning a point on the day and Van Damme responding to the incident in an ideal fashion.

6. Schweinsteiger says hello

Chicago Fire debutant Bastian Schweinsteiger may not have taken a step toward winning his new club a World Cup, but short of that, a goal in his MLS debut was about as close to a dream start as the German star could get in a 2-2 draw with the Montreal Impact on April 1.

5. It's Ike with the Bike

Already having a career year defensively, Ike Opara added to that with a stunning goal at the StubHub Center. It proved to be the matchwinner in a 2-1 victory on June 24 as Sporting Kansas City continued the form that has them Western Conference leaders at the break.

4. Welcome back, Dax

After one of the most controversial trades in recent MLS history, Dax McCarty made an emotional return to Red Bull Arena with the visiting Chicago Fire on April 29. The New York Red Bulls got a 2-1 victory, but his current club is having the better season.

3. Shea it Ain't So!

In a Cali Clasico rivalry that has featured a who's who of the league's great scorers, it was Shea Salinas who helped cement his status as a Clasico cult hero before 50,000 fans at Stanford Stadium on July 1 with his emphatic match winner in the San Jose Earthquakes' 2-1 victory.

2. Joy for Asad's moment

Perhaps only the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have opened their MLS tenures with as much fanfare as Atlanta United did this season. And perhaps no one has had a more euphoric moment in an inaugural MLS match than Yamil Asad, even if the Red Bulls did eventually win 2-1 on March 5.

1. Deuce at the Death

As we all learned for the millionth time in a gem of a Cascadia Cup derby on June 25, never lose sight of the Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey. Or else he'll keep producing dramatic moments like this last-gasp equalizer to secure 2-2 draw against their archrivals.