Diego Rossi closing in on MLS Golden Boot triumph

Diego Rossi leads the MLS Golden Boot race entering the final matchday.

Only one more matchday remains in the MLS regular season and Diego Rossi leads the Golden Boot race. The Los Angeles FC forward has scored 14 goals in 18 appearances which gives him a three-goal advantage over the closest contenders. It’s looking like there is a strong possibility Rossi will claim the Golden Boot on Sunday. Despite missing time with LAFC due to the October international break, he’s been able to maintain his lead entering the final match of the regular season.

A late goal against the Earthquakes

Although Rossi’s goal against the San Jose Earthquakes proved to be a consolation for LAFC, it meant a lot in terms of the Golden Boot race. Rossi scored in second-half stoppage time to reduce the Earthquakes to a 3-2 advantage. This goal may prove to the difference in the Golden Boot race. He would have taken just a two-goal advantage into Decision Day but now has a three-goal cushion which should be enough.

Rossi’s late goal against the Earthquakes is a great example of the tremendous work rate he possesses. He is relentless when it comes to finding goals and it has allowed him to record 14 so far this season. For this reason, Rossi is a deserved winner of the Golden Boot if he can finish the job on Sunday. There’s no question he’s been the best goal scorer this year.

The contenders

A hat-trick is going to be what it takes to tie Rossi for the Golden Boot lead. The two players who will have to accomplish this are Robert Beric and Gyasi Zardes. Beric has been in very good form as of late with four goals in his last five appearances. Of the two players, he seems the more likely to catch Rossi if he can pull off a hat-trick performance. Zardes has scored two goals in his last five appearances and would need his first hat-trick of the season to catch Rossi.

Looking further down the standings and there are three players at 10 goals apiece. Those three players are Raul Ruidiaz, Chris Mueller, and Cristian Pavon. A four-goal performance on the final matchday will be needed to tie Rossi. This again highlights how important that late goal was for Rossi against the Earthquakes. It’s very unlikely that there will be a four-goal match from any of the aforementioned players. Of the three, Ruidiaz is the most likely due to being the only true striker out of the group.