A spectacular bicycle kick goal is absolutely a wonder, not just for technical merit, athleticism and novelty, but for the sheer audacity of trying such a thing.
But there are “bikes” that lean closer to the ordinary than the “spectacular.” I sometimes think we get a little carried away with these.
Last week in Major League Soccer, two goals came via the bicycle kick. And they were both nice goals. Look first at Erick Torres’ swell effort for Chivas USA.
Again, nice goal by young Senor Cubo. But I sometimes think that when any professional soccer player turns his back and leaves his feet, we are all go wake the kids and automatically tag the effort under “Potential goal of the year.” Frankly, not all of them are.
Here, Torres’ shot is a good one. But look at the abysmal defending, which reduces his uncontested effort to something of a training ground exercise. And while I applaud the desire to get something on goal, it would take some convincing to persuade me Torres meant to drop this ball, just so, over the goalkeeper’s right shoulder.
It was a nice goal – I’m just not sure it was even the weekend’s best or even second-best strike.
Watch Javier Morales’ overhead kick in Real Salt Lake’s big win over Portland. Like Torres, he’s unmarked. And in this case, it’s really just a falling down shot out of necessity, as the first ball comes in too hot to manage a more polished first touch.
It’s athletic, sure. The awareness and quick wit around this one deserves applause. Besides, a goal is a goal is a goal. But was it really a Goal of the Year candidate? Hmmm. You tell me:
Again, nice goal. But it wasn’t exactly Wayne Rooney rising majestically and striking a sidewinder with wicked authority, as he did in the Premier League goal of the year from a few months back, now was it? Watch how he picks a centering ball cleanly out of the air. Now that is a spectacular bicycle kick goal.
Back to MLS and the top goals last week: For me, Eddie Johnson wonderfully placed header (the game-winner against Columbus) was as good or better in MLS Round 27 as the two overhead shots. But give me Benny Feilhaber’s marvelously crafted, bending ball against Colorado as the weekend’s top goal.
It wasn’t an overhead kick, a bicycle kick, a scissors kick or anything else you might call one of those. But it was a peach of a shot, eh?