Eric Hassli has been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in world soccer. His 91st minute volley that leveled the score at 1-1 in the first league of this years Voyageurs Cup final has been shortlisted for the 2012 FIFA Puskás award meaning that in the eyes of the members of FIFA's football committee it is one of the ten best goals from the past calender year.
His nomination comes for a goal that he scored while he was a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps and to make it even more fun it was scored against his current club, Toronto FC. That means that if you were to go onto the FIFA website right now to vote for one of the biggest awards of the year you would actually see Toronto FC on the page! Hassli's nomination will also be seen as a big deal for MLS as it marks that first time in the awards short history that a player from the league has made the shortlist for the award.
Also up for the award in 2012 are the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Radamel Falcao meaning that Hassli finds himself in the company of some of the top players in the world. His inclusion is not the exception to the norm though as unlike certain other FIFA awards this one actually short lists a wide variety of goals from many different leagues. The award is also open to goals scored in women's games and this year the ladies are represented by Mexico's Olivia Jimenez for her strike against Switzerland.
The award has only been around since 2009 and this will be the fourth time that it will be handed out. The inaugural award was won by Christiano Ronaldo in 2009 before going to Hamit Altintop in 2010, and Neymar in 2011. In the first two years of the awards existence you could find some lesser known names near the top of the voting lists (in 2010 a goal from Sweden's top flight finished 2nd while one from Ireland's Premiership was 3rd) but in 2011 it started to take on a similar feel to other FIFA awards as the top three was occupied by Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Wayne Rooney.
So what can you do to help propel Hassli towards this award? Well you can go over to the FIFA website and watch all the nominated goals and vote for your favourite. You have until November 29th to vote for your favourite goal and then to top three goals will move on to a second round of voting. Voting for the second phase will run until the day of the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala which is Jaunary 7th. I would say vote early and vote often but the FIFA site will try to restrict you to only one vote so get your one vote in and then get creative if you want to vote more.
Seeing as Hassli is now a part of the TFC family we wish him all the best and hope that you get behind him and cast a vote. At the very least it is some more good publicity for MLS and the Canadian clubs which is always a plus.