Anyone who saw Krisztian Nemeth’s game-winning strike for Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night will not be surprised to hear that it earned the Hungarian forward MLS Goal of the Week honours.
Just three days after scoring a vital equaliser in Sporting KC’s shootout victory over the Philadelphia Union in the US Open Cup final, the former Liverpool prospect helped his side inch closer towards a post-season berth with a majestic finish at the Portland Timbers.
With Peter Vermes’ weakened side holding the Timbers to a 0-0 stalemate, Nemeth was introduced off the bench with 17 minutes remaining and took just under 10 minutes to make his influence felt.
In the 83rd-minute, the substitute dribbled the ball up field from his own half before skirting around three Portland defenders and firing a fierce shot into the back of the net to seal his side an unexpected road win.
Not only did the goal move SKC into the Western Conference’s fourth play-off spot with just three regular-season games remaining but it also sealed their in-form marksman the Goal of the Week award with an overwhelming 67.93 per cent of the votes – 50.51 per cent more than runner-up Luke Mulholland’s free-kick in Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 win at the Colorado Rapids managed.
Nemeth now has 10 MLS goals in 25 games since joining KC in December on a free transfer and, having also added six assists, his impact has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Whether playing up top or out wide, the 26-year-old has been a valuable foil for fellow front man Dom Dwyer and is even back in the Hungarian national team thanks to his stateside performances.
Whether he can carry his current form into the play-offs remains to be seen but, with Vermes’ men now on the hunt for a domestic double, his first season in MLS could end up proving far more prosperous than first imagined when he arrived last winter.