MLS NEXT Pro Matchday 11 saw several memorable goals that could all reasonably be Goal of the Year candidates.
But Columbus Crew 2 midfielder Isaiah Parente's set-piece brilliance shined above the rest and was a worthy winner.
Crew 2's match with Chicago Fire II pushed the hosts out of their best-laid plans early, but Parente showed that they were not going to take the eventual 4-2 loss without a fight. In second-half stoppage time, he took a direct free kick that went past a three-man wall and stunned the Fire II goalkeeper.
Crew 2 fell short in a hard-fought comeback effort, but that didn't dampen the strike's credibility for voters. Parente's goal took 41.6% of the poll on Twitter and even bested a record-setting goal from Colorado Rapids 2.
Parente, 23, is a known up-and-comer in the Columbus Crew system. He signed a Homegrown contract with the club in 2021 and gets occasional deployment with Crew 2.
If available, he might want to bring the same boots from Sunday back for an MLS NEXT Pro Matchday 12 headlining matchup with Crown Legacy FC.
CLFC was the first team to beat Crew 2, the defending champions, in 2023. A three-game losing streak sees Crew 2 on the verge of losing some well-established power in the Eastern Conference and while 2022's dominance can't be unseen, their second swipe at Crown Legacy FC has set the stage for a statement game they should be desperate to win.
That match and several others will be available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.