Thursday Top Ten: MLS Strikers

Thursday, March 24, 2011 | View Comments
- Keith Hickey

Major League Soccer may be a relatively young league, but it has seen its share of great players. Here is Match Fit USA's list of the ten best strikers in MLS history. Players were judged on their stats, trophies, and overall level of play.

10. Edson Buddle
Games: 221 - Goals: 90 - GPG: 0.40
Club Honors: 3 MLS SS, 1 USOC
Individual Honors: 1 MLS Best XI

One of the most mercurial forwards in the history of MLS. Capable of putting up 15 goals in a season, and just as capable of getting five. His flashes of brilliance were enough to see him become the only player to score 40 goals with two different MLS Clubs.

9. Ante Razov
Games: 258 - Goals: 114 - GPG: 0.44
Club Honors: 1 MLS Cup, 3 USOC, 1 MLS SS
Individual Honors: 1 MLS Best XI

A key member of the early Chicago Fire teams, Razov is a member of the exclusive “100 MLS Goals” club and the third highest scorer in MLS history. He was the goalscorer for another expansion team when he found the net 30 times in 76 games for Chivas USA.

8. Brian McBride
Games: 220 - Goals: 80 - GPG 0.36
Club Honors: 1 USOC
Individual Honors: MLS All-Time Best XI

Rarely has MLS seen such a combination of talent and application as existed in Brian McBride. The first overall pick of the MLS Inaugural draft, he was the American face of the league in his early years in Columbus. Although he spent the best of his years in England, he remains one of the best forwards in the history of MLS.

7. Roy Lassiter
Games: 142 - Goals: 81 - GPG: 0.51
Club Honors: 1 MLS Cup
Individual Honors: 1 MLS Golden Boot, 1 MLS Best XI

The original Golden Boot winner. While it can be argued that Lassiter and Tampa teammate Carlos Valderrama spent 1996 discovering just how terrible MLS defenses were at the beginning, his record of 27 goals in MLS’s debut season stands to this day.

6. Jason Kreis
Games: 305 - Goals: 108 - GPG: 0.35
Club Honors: 1 USOC
Individual Honors: 1 MLS MVP, 1 MLS Golden Boot

The first MLS player to score 100 goals, and the first American-born MVP, Jason Kreis was an MLS original who spent his entire career in the US. A fine playmaker as well as a goalscorer, he was the first player to record 15 goals and 15 assists in a season.

5. Carlos Ruiz
Games: 156 - Goals: 82 - GPG 0.53
Club Honors: 1 MLS Cup
Individual Honors: 1 MLS MVP, 2 MLS Golden Boot

Ruiz exploded onto the MLS scene in 2002, scoring 24 goals in 26 games to take the MVP and Golden Boot awards. He reached double digits again for the next four seasons with Los Angeles and FC Dallas. “El Pescadito” recently returned to MLS, signing with the Philadelphia Union.

4. Jeff Cunningham
Games: 335 - Goals: 132 - GPG: 0.39
Club Honors: 1 USOC, 1 MLS SS
Individual Honors: 2 MLS Golden Boot, 3 MLS Best XI

A career MLS player, Cunningham has been a consistent scorer for over a decade. The Jamaican international, currently with Columbus, the club he began his pro career with in 1998, is just 1 goal shy of tying the league’s all-time scoring record.

3. Landon Donovan
Games: 229 - Goals: 103 - GPG: 0.45
Club Honors: 3 MLS Cup, 2 MLS SS, 1 USOC
Individual Honors: 1 MLS MVP, 1 MLS Golden Boot, 3 MLS Best XI, MLS All-Time Best XI

Donovan’s versatility counts against him, as in later years he’s been deployed more often as a winger, but there’s no doubting that he’s a fantastic striker in MLS when deployed there, and a goal threat no matter his position. Certainly the most talented player in the history of MLS.

2. Taylor Twellman
Games: 174 - Goals: 101 - GPG: 0.58
Club Honors: 1 USOC, 1 SuperLiga
Individual Honors: 1 MLS MVP, 2 MLS Golden Boot, 2 MLS Best XI

Injuries and the lack of major club successes keep Twellman out of the top spot, but even then, it’s a close call. The New England Revolution legend was the youngest player to reach 100 league goals, and taking the fewest amount of games to do so, Twellman’s career was ended prematurely at the age of 28 by recurring concussions.

1. Jaime Moreno
Games: 295 - Goals: 133 - GPG: 0.45
Club Honors: 4 MLS Cup, 1 MLS SS, 2 USOC, 1 CCL
Individual Honors: 5 MLS Best XI, MLS All-Time Best XI

Possibly the most decorated player in MLS history, Moreno reached a deified status with DC United, playing there for 14 of his 15 years spent in MLS and becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer. Not even a spell at hated rivals New York could taint his legacy.
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