Major League Soccer

The best goals of MLS Week 27 - ranked

Chris Smith
Zardes has scored three goals in his last two MLS appearances.
Zardes has scored three goals in his last two MLS appearances. / Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch via
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MLS Week 27 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 five of the best.

5. Brandon Vazquez (vs DC United)

In another universe, Brandon Vazquez could have been a very solid, reliable MLS striker. He has a great touch, the perfect physical profile for a centre-forward, and is capable of some truly spectacular finishes.

Though it was ultimately nothing more than a consolation strike, the former Atlanta United man put his qualities on full display with a lovely goal in FC Cincinnati's 4-2 defeat to DC United at the weekend.

That this was his first MLS goal of the season speaks more to Cincy's attacking woes and Vazquez being stuck behind Brenner in the pecking order than his ability as a player, as this strike suggests.

4. Diego Chara (vs Real Salt Lake)

We could have just run the highlights reel for Portland Timbers' 6-1 win over Real Salt Lake and it wouldn't look out of place in this column. Gio Savarese's men really did tear RSL apart. But we like to share the love, so here is the first of just two Timbers entries.

Yimmi Chara setting up his older brother Diego is wholesome enough. And seeing Chara senior charging forward and firing into the far corner like this isn't what we're used to given his combative nature.

But the true gem in this goal is the flick from Sebastian Blanco to initiate the counter-attack on the edge of his own box. It's so good to see him back and playing freely.

3. Orrin McKinze Gaines (vs LA Galaxy)

It's been anything but a fun expansion year for Austin FC. But to their credit, the fans keep generating a wonderful atmosphere every week and this time, they were finally rewarded with three points against five-time MLS Cup champions, LA Galaxy.

The win was secured in the 79th minute with a spectacular volley from Orrin McKinze Gaines. The 22-year-old only made his debut as a late sub in Austin's 4-3 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes a couple of weeks back, becoming the club's first homegrown representative in the process. Now, he can add first homegrown goalscorer to his list of achievements, leaving Jonathan Bond with no chance just seven minutes after coming on.

What a moment!

2. Yimmi Chara (vs Real Salt Lake)

We're back with Portland and this time, with the Chara brother we're used to seeing scoring goals.

Once again, Blanco was at the heart of it, moving Chara up the pitch with some brilliant connecting passes. And once Yimmi caught sight of goal, he needed no second invitation, curling the ball beautifully into the far corner.

It's almost as accurate as you can get. Almost, you say? Read on...

1. Gyasi Zardes (vs CF Montreal)

It's taken Gyasi Zardes a while to get back to form after his recovery from a hamstring injury, but the USMNT striker has three goals in his last two appearances and now appears hellbent on dragging Columbus Crew back above the playoff line.

Zardes scored a brace to fire the Crew to a vital 2-1 victory over CF Montreal at the weekend. While his first goal was pretty decent, his second was truly spectacular.

Sure, you can blame Montreal for a sloppy giveaway in their own half. But credit Darlington Nagbe for reading the situation and stealing the ball.

And yes, you can also accuse Montreal of backing off Zardes too much. But look at that finish. You could hit that ball 100 times and never get it more perfectly into the corner than Zardes does here. Laser-guided, pinpoint precision.

MLS defences better watch out now...

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