Major League Soccer

The best goals of MLS Week 18 - ranked

Chris Smith
17-year-old Paxten Aaronson opened his MLS account on his first start in the competition vs New England Revolution.
17-year-old Paxten Aaronson opened his MLS account on his first start in the competition vs New England Revolution. / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 of the 2021 Major League Soccer season is in the bag, bringing us a familiar dose of wonder-goals and golazos.

It's almost become an expectation to see at least one thunderous effort rip the back of the net in every game, such has been the quality of strike in MLS this season, and this latest round of fixtures was no exception.

So, without further ado, here are 90min's top five goals in MLS from week 18.

5. Luka Stojanovic (vs New York Red Bulls)

The Fire finally snapped their five-game winless run against the Red Bulls on Sunday thanks to a brace from Luka Stojanovic inside the opening eight minutes.

Stojanovic's first strike was particularly impressive, flicking the ball up for himself on the edge of the box before smashing it into the back of the net on the bounce. Red Bulls stopper Carlos Miguel Coronel had absolutely no chance.

4. Felipe Mora (vs Real Salt Lake)

From a net-buster to a goal of exquisite precision, Felipe Mora put the Timbers 3-1 up against RSL in style on Sunday.

Sebastian Blanco - who is slowly but surely returning to fitness - deserves a lot of credit for his vision and the accuracy of the lofted pass over the RSL defence. But Mora showed off all of his intelligence to ghost the centre-backs with the run, before expertly taking the ball down and finishing on the turn.

That's six goals in Mora's last eight appearances, but this will surely be among his favourites.

3. Santiago Rodriguez (vs Toronto FC)

When NYCFC's attack clicks, they're absolutely unstoppable and the full range of their talents was on show for their opening goal against Toronto.

On his first start for the club, Santiago Rodriguez finished it off, but not before some truly mesmeric combination play between him, Thiago Almada and Taty Castellanos.

We'd have had this list out much sooner for you, but we just couldn't take our eyes off this goal!

2. Ezequiel Barco (vs Columbus Crew)

He may frustrate supporters at times, but Ezequiel Barco was at his absolute best during Atlanta United's 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

The Argentina youth international bagged a brace in Ohio but it was his opener after five minutes that showcased exactly why the Five Stripes spent $15m on him back in 2018, committing defenders with a driving run and giving the goalkeeper no chance with a composed finish.

But let's face it, this goal was all about George Bello's back-heel. Everyone loves a back-heel and when it leads to a goal, well, that's just even better.

1. Paxten Aaronson (vs New England Revolution)

We all know Brenden Aaronson, right? The 20-year-old kid making waves at RB Salzburg after breaking through at the Philadelphia Union...? Well, Brenden has a younger brother, Paxten, and if his first-ever MLS goal is anything to go by, he might be just as good, if not better.

Making his first start in the competition, the 17-year-old announced himself to the world with a thunderous effort beyond Revs goalkeeper Matt Turner on Sunday. There really is no other strike more worthy of No.1 this week.

Most striking about Paxten's goal was the stylistic similarities to Brenden. Taking the ball under pressure, turning into space and riding a couple of challenges before finding the net. All qualities Union fans grew well accustomed to during Aaronson senior's time in Pennsylvania.

Then, of course, there's the trademark Aaronson 'mop-top'...

Honourable mentions: Gonzalo Higuain (vs Nashville SC), Yimmy Chara (vs Real Salt Lake), Ola Kamara (vs CF Montreal)