Montero and Ianni in the running for Goal of the Season

The two fabulous strikes from Fredy Montero and Patrick Ianni are half of the league's contributions to the 2012 Goal of the Season.

CenturyLink Field saw many memorable moments in 2012, most of which we are being recalled in the Best XI Memories of 2012 on SoundersFC.com.

Two of those moments are also finalists for the MLSsoccer.com Goal of the Year, as Fredy Montero’s long-range blast against the LA Galaxy on May 2 and Patrick Ianni’s leaping side-volley against Sporting Kansas City on June 20 survived the 64-goal tournament to find themselves among the four finalists.

Both goals were significant for the players beyond their magnificence too.

Montero had not yet seen his first goal of the season when the Sounders met the Galaxy and the club was looking for their first win over LA since 2009. With a 1-0 lead going into the second half, Montero wound up and unleashed a 37-yard strike that danced inside the far post over the outstretched hand of then-Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, giving the Sounders a commanding lead that they held on to for the 2-0 victory.

“It’s good to see Montero get his first goal,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said after the match.  “He chose a difficult one rather than an easy one. But that’s probably a ‘Goal of the Week’ winner, if not a candidate for sure, but I think a winner.”

For Montero, the victory was as important as the remarkable goal, the first of a career-high 13 he scored on the season.

“The only thing I was thinking about was giving my best to the team and to do what the coaches were looking for me to do,” he said.  “Finally I scored a very good goal and I’m happy about that.”

In June, Ianni was playing in his first match in 45 days after being sidelined by back spasms.  His return came in what was expected to be a physical bout with Sporting Kansas City and he delivered in ways beyond imagination.

Mauro Rosales sent a free kick into the box from the right side and Ianni got free from his marker and turned a side-winding shot inside the near post to equalize against KC.  It was his first goal since thumping a bicycle kick against the Houston Dynamo in 2009.

“I’m not a goalscorer.  Fredy Montero is a goalscorer.  Eddie Johnson is a goalscorer.  I was happy to get that one back for us,” Ianni said after the match. “It just kind of snuck through to me.  I thought, if it comes all the way through, I’m just going to get good contact on it and put it on frame and fortunately it went in.”

Voting will continue at MLSsoccer.com until Tuesday at 11:59 pm Pacific and the winner will be announced on Thursday. To vote for Montero or Ianni click HERE.

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