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Soccer

Is This A Blooper Or An Incredible Goal? Why Can’t It Be Both!

A Portland Timbers player hits a bicycle/overhead kick near the 18-yard box
Image: Timbers/MLS

What makes something a “highlight” versus a “blooper”? Does a highlight need to have incredible skill involved? Does a blooper need to be a certain level of funny? Well, let’s look at this goal by Portland Timbers forward Dairon Asprilla and discuss. Be it a blooper or a highlight, the goal rules.

One day, teams will be tagging Defector on these kinds of videos, and we will ignore them.

Whoa! OK, blooper or highlight, it’s pretty great. San Jose Earthquakes goaltender JT Marcinkowski bobbles the ball in front of Asprilla, and it bounces out of the box. Asprilla then does a bicycle kick (or overhead kick, if you want to use the less-cool name for it) and puts it into the corner of the net over some sad defenders.

OK, it’s probably more of a highlight than a blooper. But come on. The goalie just dropped the ball to him. There was a blooper first, then an incredible highlight.

“Goal of the year—that’s it,” Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese said in the postgame. “I mean, unbelievable goal … Amazing, amazing and very important especially because it gave us the possibility to have the second goal which was much-needed.”

I would say this has a good chance to be goal of the year. I wouldn’t quite go as far as NBC Sports did, though, calling it “one of the best in soccer history” and adding:

Somewhere, Pele is giving Asprilla the Jack Nicholson “Departed” maniacal nod to this one, a goal we thought was left in the past when goalkeepers were helpless and forwards making it up as they go.

I still am not sure if it’s a blooper or a highlight. I do know, however, that the Jack Nicholson nodding GIF is from Anger Management.