by Cory Ritzau
MLS has announced the 2012 AT&T Goal of the Year and Save of the Year Winners. Seattle’s Patrick Ianni won Goal of the Year, and Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando won Save of the Year.
Prost Amerika spoke exclusively with Ianni after the announcement of the award to get his thoughts on the goal, his propensity for big goals when he does score, and his sentiments about his late injury and what hopes for in 2013.
We got to ask Ianni about what was going through his mind on that technically proficient goal that saw him earn the award:
Whenever I see it, it just reminds me of how sometimes it’s just a spur of the moment decision. I think if I’d have had a half second longer to think about that shot, I probably would have regretted it because I would have ended looking like an absolute goat.
So I think it’s kind of funny that I don’t see myself as the type of person who would try something as audacious as that, but it is sometimes just because you want to win and you’re willing to try things.
At that moment you don’t really think about it and so that’s why sports are cool because they can bring out those moments in you and when you don’t have the time to think about all the reasons of why you can’t, or let fear creep in, or judge how this could end badly, but you let instincts and training take over.
When asked specifically about his propensity for exciting goals that have included now a Goal of the Year winner, a Goal of the Week winner, and game winner to snap RSL’s home unbeatern streak, here is how he responded:
You know I don’t know why. I played a lot of forward growing up and always enjoyed trying things at practice growing up and seeing everyone else enjoy those times as well, but now that I don’t get too many opportunities its fun to look back at those three goals and know that they just happened to work out.
At the end we turned the conversation back to his play on the field and some of his unfortunate injuries that saw him miss the beginning and the end of the 2012 campaign. He expressed frustration with his injuries and was took the time to be introspective about his own play and his ability to live up to the standards and expectations he sets for himself.
I think the most frustrating thing for me was that the form I was in while was healthy was the form I wanted to show all year. I struggled with injuries in the beginning and the end of the year and just couldn’t maintain the form I wanted to throughout the year.
I think the frustrating thing for me throughout my career is that I haven’t been able to show my full potential, and in doing some soul searching the past week or so and I’ve realized that at the end of the day, reaching your potential is what it is all about and I think I get frustrated at times because I haven’t my full potential for that year in any given year. And so I’m really looking forward to 2013 and hope to reach what I consider my full potential.
Ianni also expressed a desire to become more of a leader within the squad and hopes that he can find a way to put the injuries of the past behind him, earn more trust and respect from his teammates and play a key role in seeing this team reach new heights in 2013.
Full MLS Press Release:
NEW YORK (Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012) – Major League Soccer’s most outstanding individual plays were honored today when Seattle Sounders FC defender Patrick Ianni earned the 2012 AT&T Goal of the Year and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando won the Save of the Year.
On June 20 against Sporting Kansas City, Patrick Ianni launched himself horizontally to meet Mauro Rosales’ curling free kick with a right-footed side volley inside the near post. The goal tied the match in the 15th minute and the game ended 1-1.
The AT&T Goal of the Year was determined by an online and text fan vote, after 64 initial nominations for the award were eventually narrowed to four finalists. The final poll results for the four finalists:
Patrick Ianni (SEA) vs. SKC, 6/20 33.1%
Darlington Nagbe (POR) vs. RSL, 3/31 25.1%
Fredy Montero (SEA) vs. LA, 5/2 22.8%
Lee Nguyen (NE) vs. VAN, 5/12 19.0%
On April 14, Nick Rimando kept his team in the game as Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara tried to head home a corner kick but got turned away as an off-balance Rimando dove to his left to get his fingertips on the ball.
The 2012 Save of the Year was determined by an online fan vote, after 64 initial nominations for the award were eventually narrowed to four finalists. The final poll results for the four finalists:
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. SKC, 4/14 38.53%
Joe Cannon (VAN) vs. DC, 3/24 23.7%
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. LA, 3/10 22.57%
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. NE, 5/5 15.21%