Major League Soccer

The best goals of MLS Week 26 - ranked

Chris Smith
Ezequiel Barco has six goals and five assists in his last nine appearances for Atlanta United.
Ezequiel Barco has six goals and five assists in his last nine appearances for Atlanta United. / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

MLS Week 26 is in the books and the playoffs are quickly coming up, kicking off on November 19.

Though the business end of the regular season is approaching, the pressure doesn't seem to be getting to the players, who continue to produce golazos and wonder strikes at a remarkable rate.

This week was no different, so let's rank six of the best.

6. Damir Kreilach (vs Seattle Sounders)

Real Salt Lake are very quietly going about their business this season, sitting sixth in the Western Conference following a run of three wins from four.

Much of their success has been thanks to the combination between Aaron Herrera and Damir Kreilach, with the former assisting the latter for four goals this season - Nashville's Hany Mukhtar to CJ Sapong is the only partnership to produce more goals (5).

The latest was a towering Kreilach header at the far post to deliver a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, with Herrera - who is arguably one of the most underrated players in the league - doing brilliantly to get away from Brad Smith and deliver a deadly ball into the box.

5. George Bello (vs DC United)

You could make the argument that any one of the countless DC United defenders Marcelino Moreno beat to set up George Bello on Saturday should have hacked the Argentine down. But we're here to celebrate greatness, so let's ignore that.

It truly was a stunning effort from Moreno to go from halfway line to byline while still having the energy to make the pass to Bello. And note the left-back's excellent movement in the box to get free of the DC defence; perhaps he's been taking lessons from Josef Martinez?

4. Emanuel Reynoso (vs LA Galaxy)

Adrian Heath has called upon Emanuel Reynoso to score more goals and with his effort to open the scoring against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, is it any wonder why?

This was one of two excellent strikes within the opening 20 minutes of Minnesota United's 3-0 victory on Saturday and on another weekend, both could have been worthy of a place on this list.

The opener makes it on thanks to its sheer accuracy, giving Galaxy 'keeper Jonathan Klinsmann absolutely no chance down to his bottom-left.

But go check out Reynoso's second, that wasn't bad either!

3. Felipe Martins (vs Atlanta United)

Shortly before Bello made it 3-1 to Atlanta United, DC United had cut the Five Stripes' lead in half with this absolute piledriver from Felipe Martins.

The Brazilian isn't known for scoring goals. Indeed, this is his first for DC since joining from Vancouver Whitecaps midway through the 2019 season. But my word it was worth the wait. Martins caught the ball perfectly on the bounce and while Brad Guzan should be commended for at least trying to keep it out, the USMNT goalkeeper never really stood a chance.

2. Ezequiel Barco (vs DC United)

Ezequiel Barco's post-Olympics tear has been a joy to behold, with the Argentine moving to six goals and five assists in nine appearances after notching one of each at the weekend.

His free-kick inside 18 minutes to open the scoring at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was truly sublime, lifting the ball over the wall and inside the near post with just enough power to evade the scrambling Bill Hamid.

Barco later set up Josef Martinez for his 99th Atlanta United goal. In doing so, the pair moved level with Herrera and Kreilach in the assister-to-goalscorer standings.

We'd love to say this is the end of Atlanta United vs DC United in this article but...

1. Edison Flores (vs Atlanta United) was just a ridiculous game.

Each of the above goals (and the honourable mentions below) were fantastic in their own right. But none of them matches up to Edison Flores' late strike against Atlanta United.

Whether it was the way he caught the ball so sweetly on the volley, Brad Guzan being totally rooted, or the ball almost ripping the back of the net open, this was pure, unadulterated golazo brilliance. Check Flores' reaction, he even stunned himself!

It's just a shame this goes down as nothing more than a consolation goal in the match itself, but it definitely wins this particular contest.

Honourable mentions: Jacob Shaffelburg (vs Nashville), Emanuel Reynoso (2nd goal vs LA Galaxy), Jader Obrian (2nd goal vs Houston Dynamo)