These Are Actual Professional Players Messi Is Making Look Like Practice Cones Here

The incomparable Lionel Messi was at it again this past weekend, making Atletico Bilbao defenders look like Washington General–style accomplices in his showmanship en route to Barcelona’s first goal in a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

Take a look:

As Prison Mike said, he makes stuff like this look too easy.

Sidenote: There’s a clip of this floating around with beIN Sports’ Ray Hudson doing the commentary, and we gotta say, the former Miami Fusion and D.C. United coach may have jumped the shark when it comes to broadcasting Messi brilliance.

His way over-the-top response—with phrases like “he emasculates them individually, collectively!” and “he disperses his atoms to one side of his body…!”—actually detracts from the sensational action on display.

Tamp it down a bit, Ray. You’re getting in the way.

Van Persie vs Wolyniec

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie scored three goals yesterday to lift his team to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa (and U.S. keeper Brad Guzan) that clinched the club’s 20th English championship.

His second was a beauty:

The full volley into the far corner, off of a pass from distance, kind of reminded us of MetroBull striker John Wolyniec’s overtime winner against Columbus in 2003:

Which one is better?

The MLS man was closer to goal, but the pass he had to deal with was longer. It was also an overtime winner.

Both players hit the ball absolutely on the screws, but RVP’s degree of difficulty to get it on frame was greater, and he pocketed it right in the corner.

Advantage: RVP, by a nose.

There’s Catching the Keeper Out, and Then There’s This

Wait for the third replay of this astounding long-range goal from Mor Diouf, a Senegalese defender who plays for South African Premier League side Supersport United.

That’s the one that gives the best angle of him collecting the ball deep in his own end with two minutes to play in a scoreless game. He looks up, sees the Mamelodi Sundowns keeper off his line, and … has a go from about, oh, 80 yards:

Click-click bang, indeed.

MLS Goal of the Week Nominees: Kicking off the Season In Style

The first week of the 2013 MLS season is in the books, and it was a lively round indeed.

There was a shocker in Seattle, a wild one in Portland, and a slow-motion trainwreck the emerging saga of Chivas USA in Southern California.

The nine games yielded 24 goals, many of which were terrific, including the following five:

The week was filthy rich with great goals; there were also fine strikes from Mike Magee and Sebastien Le Toux. But of the five nominees, we have to go with Davy Arnaud’s excellent finish, teed up by Felipe’s superb scoop over the top. Finishing a close second for us was Diego Valeri‘s slick slalom and finish against New York, followed, again, very closely, by Vancouver’s beautiful team goal.

Keep an eye on Whitecaps midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, the man who laid that ball off for Gershon Khoffie to finish. Kobayashi’s teammate Jun Marques Davidson said the Japanese import (who’s only 30) would be the most technical player in the league when he joined in preseason. After seeing him for one game, we see what Davidson means: Kobayashi is superclean on the ball. He—and Vancouver—are going to be fun to watch.

Your MLS Week 29 Goal-of-the-Week Nominees

It was the week of the long-range rocket as Juninho, Danny Mwanga, Javier Morales, and Simon Dawkins (a Tottenham loanee, btw) all struck from distance, while Robbie Keane tormented poor Toronto FC defender Ashtone Morgan in the box before blasting home.

Enjoy:

We have to go with Dawkins on this one. That was a filthy effort. Keane’s cutback clocks in at No. 2 on our ballot.

Terrence Boyd Gets Ready for the New Season with Two Audacious Bicycle Kicks

The U.S. international striker signed with Rapid Vienna during the offseason, and the change appears to have done him good.

Here he is firing not one but two bicycle kicks just seconds apart against Roma (and fellow U.S. international and recent transferee Michael Bradley) in a preseason friendly yesterday:

Well, that was pretty gnarly. (The fact that the two attempts came so close together probably explains Boyd‘s celebration on the goal, which would have been a little excessive if it had been just the one bike in a preseason friendly and all.)

Vienna won the game 2-1.