Last season, Sebastian Giovinco made it look easy on his way to capturing the MLS Golden Boot award. He bested Kei Kamara on the number of assists tie breaker as both stood at 22 goals for the season. This season, Giovinco has continued to find the back of the net, but he has plenty of competition as the season heads towards the midpoint.
Currently sitting at 8 goals, Gio is tied with Portland’s Fanendo Adi and NYCFC’s David Villa atop the scoring chart. Ignacio Piatti and Chris Wondolowski round out the top five with 7 goals each.
It is expected that some of the competition may hit a rough patch or miss games that will drop them down the standings. While this can happen in Giovinco’s case as well, there are other threats to his title lurking just outside the top five.
Orlando City SC’s Cyle Larin moved himself to 6 goals with his brace against Montreal. Larin has the advantage of being played into opportunities by Kaka. If he can become more consistent in his finishing, he has the opportunity to put up a goal total somewhere in the twenties.
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
Another player to keep an eye on is Giovani dos Santos of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Mexican international has began to find his feet in a strong Galaxy attack. He currently has struck 5 goals on the season, but has played in less games then those above him. His 0.70 goals per 90 minutes (per MLSsoccer.com) trails only Adi and Larin at this point.
If dos Santos can keep in solid form, he like Larin, will have plenty of opportunities to cash in on. Having a running mate like Robbie Keane is worth a handful of goals as it is.
There are other players who are in position to make a move towards the top (Dom Dwyer, Pedro Morales among others). What the tight grouping at the top of the scoring shows is that MLS could be in for an exciting Golden Boot race.
Having multiple players chasing this award when the MLS season heads towards conclusion would be a great storyline for the league. Scoring sells, and MLS has only had three times where it produced three 20 goal scorers in the same season. Last year saw Giovinco, Kamara and Roy Keane all hit the 20 mark.
If MLS can increase the number of 20 plus goal scorers and maintain that level over the next few years, it could be another key for growing the league. At the very least, Gio should have to work hard to defend his Golden Boot title, and that should be worth watching.