The Top 10 Goal Scorers In The MLS 2018
The 2018 season is about to begin, and we can't wait to see soccer back on our screens. Last season there were a whopping 1110 goals scored in the competition, and with the addition of a 23rd team there's a decent chance we'll see even more strikes this year.
You can't score goals without top-class strikers, and the MLS is full of them. You'll find a great mix of veterans and up and coming stars in the competition, and each season produces a new success story. Here are the players we think will be in the top ten at the end of 2018, in no particular order
Dom Dwyer - Orlando SC
Dwyer scored nine goals in the 2017 MLS season from 27 starts, although he was mainly in the shadow of parter in crime Cyle Larin. Now that the Canadian has moved to try his luck at Turkish club Besiktas, Dwyer will have much more responsibility up front, and will need to score the bulk of his team's goals.
Orlando have recruited well in the attacking third - they picked up Justin Meram on the wing and also Sacha Kljestan (ranked 10th in MLS history for the most assists in the competition) and Josue Colman. Their influx of attack-minded players should mean a wealth of opportunities for Dwyer hit the back of the net and surge up the goal scoring charts.
Ola Kamara - Los Angeles Galaxy
Let's face it - the LA Galaxy were abysmal last season. Fans of the club will therefore be pleased to see all of the changes that are being made in the west, and perhaps the biggest coup so far is the signing of Norwegian striker Kamara from the Columbus Crew.
Kamara is one of the reasons the Crew made it so far in 2017, and was absolutely lethal at the front, scoring 34 goals in 59 appearances. He is also a talismanic option up front, which will please everyone involved at the Galaxy considering how many players went down with injury last season. Kamara played in all 34 regular season matches last year, and his 18 goals would have gone down a treat with the last-placed Galaxy.
Bradley Wright-Phillips - New York Red Bulls
It wouldn't be an MLS top strikers list without this man. Wright-Phillips will run around for the Red Bulls for the sixth-consecutive season, and he needs just 14 more goals to reach 100 goals in the MLS - a feat that only nine players have managed in the history of the league. He has already scored 100 for the club in all competitions, bringing up the milestone in November last year.
Wright-Phillips' biggest drawcard is his consistency. He has scored at least 17 goals per season and made at least 32 appearances in the last four MLS campaigns for the Red Bulls. He is a goal machine who also boasts the incredible record of a goal or more in the last five MLS playoffs.
David Villa - New York City FC
The MLS has attracted some fantastic names over the years. The likes of Robbie Keane, Stephen Gerrard, Kaka and David Beckham have all called North America home during the twilight period of their careers, and David Villa will go down as another of the incredible talents that have graced our shores. Playing alongside the likes of Frank Lampard and Andreas Pirlo, Villa has still managed to shine for City, helping the side to consecutive playoff appearances.
Villa has scored 63 goals already for the New Yorkers, and although approaching the end of his career looks a certainty to be in the top-five for 2018. Although he has lost Pirlo and winger Jack Harrison, the inclusion of former Austria Wien wide-man Ismael Tajouri is a big plus, while Mix Diskerud will fill the void in central midfield.
Nemanja Nikolic - Chicago Fire
If you want to look up the blueprint on how to have a successful debut season, look no further than Nikolic's inaugural Chicago Fire campaign. While there were other changes made to the 2016 cellar-dwellers, including the pivotal inclusion of former Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, the impact that the Serb has had on his team has been massive.
Nikolic topped last season's charts, and will be a short-priced favourite to do the same in 2018. He has lost one of his key partners in crime in David Accam, although we should expect to see Alaves loanee Aleksandar Katai more than make up for this absence.
Diego Valeri - Portland Timbers
Portland were the 2017 Western Conference table-toppers, and that feat can be attributed to the sensational season by Diego Valeri. The Argentine was one of just three players to hit in excess of 20 goals last season, and his poise in the attacking third also led to 11 assists, the best of last year's top-ten goal scorers. If the MLS had a point system similar to hockey, Valeri would have led the competition with 31.
Valeri broke all sorts of records in 2017, and it will be interesting to see whether he can maintain his good form. As a midfielder, he obviously is disadvantaged when it comes to topping the goal scoring charts, but as we saw last season, he is capable of anything when at the top of his game.
Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto FC
Giovinco only played in 25 of the 34 regular season matches, yet still managed to finish seventh on the charts with 16 goals in 2017. His record of 0.7 goals per 90 mins was third behind only Nikolic (0.73) and Villa (0.77). As long as Toronto FC continue to perform at the highest level, we should expect to see the Atomic Ant in the hunt for the top goal scoring award.
The Italian makes a living out of his dead ball expertise, and he has an incredible 13 goals from free kicks in his three seasons in the MLS, four clear of nearest rivals Jeff Larentowicz and Javier Morales (who have both spent at least a decade in the competition). He truly is a remarkable player.
Josef Martinez - Atlanta United
Despite being the second-highest scorers in 2017, Atlanta United didn't boast a stand-out striker, instead sharing the goals around. Arguably their best forward, Martinez scored five goals in his first three matches, including the club's first hat trick in a 6-1 win over Minnesota United, although injury restricted his contribution throughout the season.
A fit and healthy Martinez is a scary proposition for any opposing defence, and there is a chance he can surge to the top of the charts if the can make over 30 appearances for United this season.
Ignacio Piatti - Montreal Impact
The Impact's all-time leading goalscorer has been a crucial cog in the side's attack since 2014, and had perhaps his best season with the blue and blacks. He scored 17 goals and made 6 assists throughout 2017, and will be desperate to lift his side back into playoff contention in 2018.
Interestingly, it does not appear as though Montreal have bolstered their attacking third and have focussed predominantly on goalkeepers and defensive players in the transfer market so far. It therefore looks as though Piatti will once again need to take on the responsibility of scoring the most goals for the club.
Clint Dempsey - Seattle Sounders
Dempsey really came into form during the 2017 postseason, and we expect him to carry on into 2018. While the captain of the Sounders loves to get involved in everything, he will perhaps be disappointed with a campaign that yielded just 12 goals.
Expect the veteran American forward to be even more focussed this season after the side's below-average attacking display in Toronto last December. He is a bolter for a top-ten spot.
Outside Chance - Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ok, so he needs to actually sign for the LA Galaxy first, but if the rumours are true, the great man will be heading west to help a side in desperate need. Ibrahimovic would be perhaps one of the biggest coups in MLS history, and as we've mentioned there have been several. You can genuinely say that the Swede is one of the best ten players to have played the sport in the last two decades.
If he makes it over to the US and stays injury free, he should grab a bagful of goals.
Category : Soccer News
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