Top 10 Forwards in MLS
Power Rankings: Top Forwards in MLS
The striker position in soccer gets all the glory. They are often the finisher or the person in the right place at the right time. The forward is on an island in many formations with the spotlight on them at all times. The forwards that will rise to the top of the goal scoring list in the 2014 will be many of those on that same list in 2013. While the top scorer from last year is in another league, MLS still has plenty of talent at forward.
This list is not solely for goal scorers, but more specifically for those listed as a striker on their team sheets. Most of the top ten line up in the striker position at all times. However, there are a couple on the list that may be more of a floating midfielder or lineup in a two man front on their respective teams.
There are a few obvious omissions that could become talking points including Eddie Johnson. He is one of the best finishers in the air that has ever played in MLS. Claudio Bieler had a great start last year and came back stronger in the playoffs. Obafemi Martins has an unmatched work ethic and a pretty great front flip. Deshorn Brown could make this list by the end of the year after his Rookie of the Year runner-up season in 2013 and scoring once for Jamaica on Sunday night. Darlington Nagbe could be there too and since Caleb Porter lets him roam the field one could put him in any position you want to make a list.
Make sure to check out the rest of the posts on MLS as the season draws near using the link above. The team previews continue this week as well as the breakdowns for the five key players for each team. For now, let us know what you think of the top ten and who deserves to be here.
10. Blas Perez
Entering his third season in MLS, Blas Perez is known for being a pure goal scorer. Although he did not score for Panama in World Cup qualifying last year, he did score three times in the Gold Cup. In his 25 appearances for FC Dallas in 2013 he scored 11 goals on 56 total shots.
9. Diego Fagundez
The New England Revolution midfielder/forward Diego Fagundez burst onto the scene as a teenager and shows no signs of slowing down. Over the past two seasons Fagundez has scored 15 goals in 53 total appearances although 15 of those were as a substitute. The trajectory is moving upward for Fagundez and he should be successful again this year on an improving Revs team.
8. Alvaro Saborio
The 32-year-old striker struggled with injury last year but still contributed to Costa Rica's run to the World Cup. Alvaro Saborio scored 13 goals in 19 appearances in MLS and tallied the lone regular time goal for Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup Final. He will be out on international duty again in 2014 but will still be important for RSL.
7. Chris Wondolowski
Last year could be considered a down year for Chris Wondolowski after tying the MLS record for goals in the 2012 season. He had 19 goals over all competitions including five in the Gold Cup. The San Jose Earthquakes struggled with many injuries last year and it should not be as busy of a year for Wondolowski which means he can put all his energy into scoring in MLS.
6. Jermaine Defoe
One of the newest editions to MLS, Jermaine Defoe, has high expectations as he joins Toronto FC. Defoe will join his new club after his stint with the England National Team and hopefully make an immediate impact. Obviously he has not done anything in MLS and most of his scoring has come in Europa League competition this year.
5. Robbie Keane
At age 33 Robbie Keane continues to produce with 25 goals across all competitions last year, including 16 with the Los Angeles Galaxy. That was after 22 goals for LA the previous year. He is one of the more demonstrative players on the field, but you can afford to be when you have his finishing abilities.
4. Mike Magee
The reigning MLS MVP is back in camp with the Chicago Fire and Mike Magee is ready to fire at will. Magee never turned down a good shot and that is evident with his 21 goals in MLS last year. It was a big step up from the previous year, but he is now the featured attraction in Chicago.
3. Marco Di Vaio
Speaking of not passing up a shot, let us throw Marco Di Vaio in here. He scored 20 goals on 123 shots for the Montreal Impact last year. Of those 123 shots, 55 were on net so if it was between the pipes Di Vaio had a good chance of scoring. It was his first full year in MLS and the aging striker made the most of it while starting all but two matches.
2. Landon Donovan
The partnership between Landon Donovan and Keane is unmatched across the league. After a hiatus to begin 2013 Donovan showed his worth for the LA Galaxy and the national team. He was one of the main reasons for a Gold Cup championship and still managed to score 10 goals on just 45 shots for Los Angeles. He will miss time with the Galaxy but continues to build his legacy.
1. Thierry Henry
Age does not matter for Thierry Henry as his talent just continues to shine through year after year. If you could pick a player to have the ball at his feet with the game on the line in MLS it would be Henry. He does take some plays off at times, but has become more of a playmaker with a lethal strike in the last two years with the New York Red Bulls.