[AWARDS] The spectacular goal scored by Vancouver striker Eric Hassli against Seattle last month has earned him a trip to Los Angeles Wednesday to attend the ESPY awards.
His juggle and shot to the top far corner June 11 has generated more than five million online hits and earned inclusion among the candidates in the Best Play Category. The goal has survived the first round of head-to-head online voting and is included among the eight finalists, which also include Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney's overhead kick against rival Manchester City in February.
The quarterfinal matchups are: Hassli vs. 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin; Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Tim Thomas vs. NFL Pro-Bowler DeSean Jackson; Oklahoma State University’s football squad vs. Rooney, and Anaheim Ducks star Bobby Ryan vs. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
Voting for the quarterfinals concludes prior to the start of the show (6 p.m. PT, 9 p.m. ET), and once the four semifinalists are determined, subsequent voting is conducted during the program. Votes can be placed at espn.go.com/espys; the same link is used for all rounds of voting.
“I am looking forward to attending the ESPYs and am grateful for all the support I have received from fans,” said Hassli, in a Whitecaps press release. “To be nominated for the Best Play award, alongside star athletes from the NHL, NBA, NFL and EPL is very exciting.”
The Whitecaps, one of two expansion teams added by the league this season, signed Hassli as the team's first Designated Player. He's scored six goals, which ties Camilo for the team lead. The signing of a second DP, Mustapha Jarju, was announced Tuesday.