FRISCO, Texas – We all love goals, right? And, as the saying goes, they all count the same. But not all goals are the same. Some are better than others, especially from an entertainment perspective. Whether you like long-range bangers, well-worked team moves, mazy runs with tidy finishes, or first-time volleys into the top corner against your biggest rivals to announce yourself to your new city, our Top 5 goals of 2020 ranking has ‘em all.
If that last goal description sounded oddly specific, that’s because it’s exactly what Andrés Ricaurte did in his first Texas Derby to earn the #1 spot in our rankings.
1. Andrés Ricaurte vs. Houston Dynamo | Oct. 12
Midseason signing Andrés Ricaurte announced himself in the best way possible with an audacious volley against the Houston Dynamo in what was his first start in FC Dallas colors. It’s such a good goal that it’s tough to highlight which part is best: the technique to hit it out of the air first-time, the ball swerve and placement, or just the fact that Houston keeper Marko Maric barely moved. There’s truly no better way to start your FC Dallas and MLS career and that’s why it’s our top goal of the year.
2. Ricardo Pepi vs. Portland Timbers | Nov. 22
Our second-ranked goal is probably the least aesthetically pleasing of our top 5—unless you include the wild celebration. That’s because Ricardo Pepi’s 93rd-minute strike against the Portland Timbers was the all-important equalizer in the first round of the playoffs and sent the game to extra time. While the context of the goal is largely what earned Pepi the #2 spot, it’s still a good goal. The 17-year-old showed a goalscorer’s instinct twice in the move; first knowing to hang on the shoulder of the last defender in anticipation of a hopeful long-ball. And second, to follow up his initial shot which was saved and rebounded kindly off the post. This goal helped FC Dallas register its first playoff win since 2016 and is thus deserving of its high ranking.
3. Paxton Pomykal vs. Philadelphia Union | Feb. 29
Although Paxton Pomykal’s 2020 season was cut short due to hip surgery, the former MLS All-Star still gave Dallas fans a moment of magic early on. In FCD’s season opener, the substitute Pomykal picked up the ball at midfield and carried it to the edge of Philadelphia’s box before playing a slick one-two with Tanner Tessmann. The Homegrown then danced around two defenders and expertly placed his shot back across Andre Blake and into the far bottom corner. I’d say this goal falls into the “mazy run and tidy finish” category.
4. Ryan Hollingshead vs. Inter Miami | Oct. 28
Well-worked team goals are my personal favorite type of goal. They’re not just one moment of individual brilliance. They involve a series of split-second decisions combined with intricate passages of play. And while Ryan Hollingshead’s goal vs. Inter Miami isn’t quite “Jack Wilshere vs. Norwich” level, it’s still a great team goal. The move begins with Bryan Reynolds combining with Ema Twumasi and Michael Barrios on the right flank. Reynolds then took over and beat two Miami defenders in the box before squaring it across the face of goal right to the feet of Hollingshead to tap home.
5. Kobra vs. Philadelphia Union | Feb. 29
Our fifth and final goal of the Top 5 is actually FCD’s first goal of the 2020 campaign. Although Zdenek (Kobra) Ondrasek is no longer in Dallas, he’s still a fan favorite for his unique personality, never-say-die attitude and especially for goals like this one. While most of Kobra’s goals were close-range poacher’s finishes, this one breaks the mold as he received the ball outside the box and hit it on the bounce directly into the bottom corner. Kobra wasn’t with FCD much longer, but this goal will live long in the memory.