There are merely a few days left now until the season kicks off. So for the last few days, I will cover some storylines to follow this season that I think have flown a bit under the radar. But then again, since we are talking about MLS, pretty much everything except for David Beckham’s private plane flies under the radar…
For today we will discuss: Who will end the season as the MLS All-Time Leading Scorer?
The Career Goals Scored Title is (or at least should be) to MLS fans what the Career Homerun Title is to MLB fans and the Career TDs title is to NFL fans (i.e., a big deal). Yet, the battle for #1 overall seems to get very little ink.
Jaime Moreno is currently perched atop the list with 112 goals, but Ante Razov is right behind him at 109. Meanwhile, Jeff Cunnigham is still in the hunt with 96 goals and Taylor Twellman is not far behind him with 91.
I will dismiss Cunningham’s chances of even getting within spitting distance of the top mark simply because he plays for Toronto, a team that rarely finds the net. In fact, despite only being 31, Cunningham will have difficulty ever overcoming Moreno or Razov so long as he plays for The Reds.
Twellman’s chances are probably low as well since he would have to put up huge numbers (and have Moreno and Razov stall) to reach the peak by the end of this season. Of course, Twellman would easily be the favorite to end up on top of the list eventually since he is a mere 28 years of age, however, his desire to play in Europe could cost him the all-time title.
So, its Jaime or Ante (barring NER preventing Twellman from leaving the country again when his current deal expires).
Moreno has had a great career in MLS, and its worth mentioning that he has outscored Razov despite taking 250 fewer shots. However, Moreno plays for a stacked team where he has even ceded the role of top goal scorer to fellow striker Emilio. At 34, his fitness seems to be waning and I highly doubt he’ll score more than 10 goals in 2008. I bet he gets 8 (probably 5 of which will be PKs) and finishes 2008 with 120 goals even.
Razov also plays for a stacked team, but he’ll likely earn more minutes this season than Moreno. Though only a year younger, Razov seems to have lost very little of his speed or his competitve edge. In addition, he has not struggled through as many injuries as Moreno.
Finally, one has to take into consideration when comparing the two MLS titans that Moreno has scored nearly a third (33) of his goals on PKs, while Razov has only notched 13 from the penalty spot. With Razov playing for the high powered Chivas offense, I expect him to notch 12 goals in 2008 and end up on top of the all-time list by a single goal.