CARSON, Calif. — LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed his second award of the 2018 season when Major League Soccer announced, today, that the 37-year-old Swede had been awarded the 2018 AT&T Goal of the Year.
The goal came during Ibrahimovic’s Galaxy debut on March 31 against expansion side Los Angeles Football Club. Trailing by a score of 3-0 in the second half, the Galaxy had clawed back to within a single goal when Ibrahimovic launched an audacious strike from more than 40-yards away as his half-volley, right-footed strike swerved outside the left goalpost before curving back towards the center of the net and clearing LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller to knot the game at 3-3.
The goal electrified the StubHub Center crowd and launched the match into “instant-classic” status. Ibrahimovic would go on to score the game-winning goal in stoppage time to secure the victory for the Galaxy.
Ibrahimovic is the third player in club history to come win the award. He follows Landon Donovan’s swerving volley against the New England Revolution in 2009 and Carlos Ruiz’s 2002 strike against the Columbus Crew.
Ibrahimovic was also nominated for another goal during the season when he round-house kicked his 500th career goal (combining professional and international tallies) against Toronto FC on Sept. 15.
The Goal of the Year was determined by fan votes on MLSSoccer.com and has been awarded since the league’s inaugural 1996 season. There were 16 nominees in total, with the winning goal and Ibrahimovic’s 500th goal among the long list of outstanding strikes.
Ibrahimovic finished the season with 22 goals and 10 assists and also claimed a spot on the MLS Best XI as well as winning the MLS Newcomer of the Year – an award that recognizes players with previous professional experience but who are in their first year playing in MLS, which makes rookies ineligible for consideration.
Ibrahimovic is also a finalist for the MLS MVP award – which will be announced at a later date – but seems destined to lose that particular accolade to Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez.