Howdy everybody! It's Monday, which means it's time to strap yourself in for this week's edition of your digital cup of espresso—the Rivalry Week roundup.
This incarnation of a weekend packed to the brim with fierce rivalries had more than enough action to go around. Free kick mastery, crunching tackles, playoff spot drama, and a big-time upset are just a few of the things on our list this week.
To start things off, we're headed to the land of poutine and Piatti: Montreal.
INSERT SUPERLATIVE HERE of the Week
Sebastian Giovinco is an incredible soccer player, and it wouldn't be out of the realm of reason to argue that he's the best free kick taker on planet Earth. This past weekend, he hit his MLS-record 12th free kick goal, and he's only been in the league for three seasons. This one was his fifth of the year, which is tied for the most in a single MLS season, and it was extremely good.
That is some absolutely magical vertical movement that he puts on the ball. Evan Bush knew that he never had a chance. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do against a player with that much sheer class.
He's Not Done Yet?! of the Week
Well it turns out that we're not done talking about Giovinco yet because he had to go and do this.
You'll notice that in the first shot of that goal, the ball comes from off frame. It might as well have come from a thousand yards away, and Giovinco has the audacity to hit it on the full volley with his weak foot.
Of course, when talking about a player like Seba, "weak foot" is a relative term. Regardless of which foot he hits it with, that is an insane goal. Pure class.
Counterattack of the Week
Look at this pass.
While a 20 or 30 pass build-up to a beautiful team goal is among the world's most aesthetically pleasing things, there's definitely something to be said for the ruthless efficiency of a one-pass counterattack. When a player drops an absolute dime onto a perfectly-timed run into space to set up a breakaway, it's as pretty as anything you'll see on a pitch.
Record Breaker of the Week
Wonderful Wondo was at it again this weekend.
As he is wont to do, Chris Wondolowski went ahead and scored on the LA Galaxy, breaking a record in the process. The MLS all-time record for goals scored on the road, previously held by one Mr. Landon Donovan, now belongs to Wondo. Here's how he did it.
This is the second big record he's broken this season, after becoming the first player in MLS history with eight consecutive 10-goal seasons. He'll be featuring for the USMNT in their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, as well.
Not Quite a Bike of the Week
If you were to ask Alejandro Bedoya what he did this weekend, he'd have a pretty cool answer that would include the fact that he got called into the U.S. National Team and scored a wicked cool goal.
However, if he told you that he scored a bicycle kick, he'd be lying to you. This was cool as heck, but it wasn't a bike.
Amazing finish... but not a bike!
Upset Alert! of the Week
The Chicago Fire and Minnesota United have had starkly contrasting seasons. Chicago are in a bit of a renaissance period, while Minnesota are going through the growing pains of being an expansion club.
It's okay, Minnesota, we've been there. Things get better.
But every once in a while, the Loons pull a rabbit out of their hat! This weekend, they flew into the windy city and handed the Fire an 'L'. Minnesota isn't short on attacking talent, and this time out it was number one overall SuperDraft pick Abu Danladi with the brace to seal the victory.
Danladi scored both of his goals from almost identical locations, finding his way in behind the Chicago back line and finishing off balls played in with just one touch. He had to stretch for this one, and he got just enough on it to send it flying into the back of the net. Check it out:
Not bad, rookie.
Banter of the Week
It's Rivalry Week we're talking about, so what would be the point rounding up the weekend's best bits if we didn't include some ribbing?
Nice work, San Jose.