MLS: Golden Boot race continues coming down to the wire

MLS. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
MLS. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The MLS Golden Boot race is far from over entering the final weeks of the regular season

An unpredictable 2020 MLS season may still have more surprises to come. When it comes to the Golden Boot race, it remains wide open and a surprising winner could still emerge in the final weeks of the regular season. At the moment, Los Angeles FC’s Diego Rossi leads the way with 12 goals but the Columbus Crew’s Gyasi Zardes is close behind with 11 goals. After Raul Ruidiaz in third place with nine goals, there are eight players at eight goals apiece which makes things very interesting.

Can Rossi hold on?

The October international break led to Rossi missing three matches with LAFC. He was selected to represent Uruguay in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers and had to quarantine upon arrival back to the United States. As a result, there was no opportunity for him to increase his lead in the Golden Boot race. However, he did not lose the lead during his absence from MLS.

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Rossi is going to be a key player for LAFC in the final weeks of the regular season as they look to clinch a playoff spot. He is going to get plenty of playing time and more goals could come from the Uruguayan. At the moment, Zardes is the closest competitor but all it might take is for one of the eight players at eight goals to record a hat-trick and things get more interesting. Rossi will need to score a few more goals in order to hold off his nearest competitors.

Zardes looks to win his first Golden Boot

It would be a first career Golden Boot success for Zardes if he can top the standings. He’s been very consistent this season with his longest stretch without a goal being just three matches. Zardes has had a very long career in MLS and would be a deserved recipient of the Golden Boot if he is able to pull away from the rest of the field. This might be the best opportunity for the 29-year-old to win the MLS Golden Boot in his career.

The other contenders

There have been players surging as of late to get themselves within striking distance of winning the Golden Boot. One of those players is the Chicago Fire’s Robert Beric. The former Saint-Etienne striker has scored six goals in his last eight appearances to skyrocket up the Golden Boot standings. If he continues this impressive run of form then he could be a surprise winner of the Golden Boot. The Fire will need Beric to continue to score if they hope to reach the postseason and if he answers the call it will mean more goals for the Slovenian.

Alejandro Pozuelo has been having an MVP season for Toronto FC. The Designated Player has registered eight goals and 10 assists so far. In his last eight matches in MLS, Pozuelo has scored five goals. He is another player who has been having a fantastic second half of the regular season. Pozuelo will be a player to keep an eye on in this race as Toronto look to clinch the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

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The Seattle Sounders are one of the multiple clubs that have two players capable of winning the Golden Boot. Jordan Morris and Ruidiaz are the two Sounders players who are within catching distance of Rossi. Ruidiaz has nine goals so far and will be rejoining the Sounders after international duty with Peru. He’s a player who is certainly capable of winning the Golden Boot. Morris has been terrific this season and may just have a surprise flurry of goals to come out of nowhere to claim the top scorer spot.