Top Scorer in MLS History Might Surprise

Date IconLast Updated: Oct 5th, 2023
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Top Scorer in MLS History Might Surprise
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Top Scorer in MLS History Might Surprise

The 2023 Major League Soccer season is around the corner. Los Angeles FC wears the MLS Cup crown heading in after a stunning 1,409 goals were scored in the 476 league matches across the U.S. and Canada in 2022. 

It’s set to be another monumental campaign with the addition of St. Louis City.

As we get ready for the '23 season, let's take a look at the top goal scorers in MLS history.

Chris Wondolowski (171)

Those not familiar with MLS often are surprised Chris Wondolowski is the league's leading scorer.

Wondolowski scored most of his goals with the San Jose Earthquakes, netting 167 in 374 games. He won two MLS Golden Boots, in 2010 and 2012, and his 27 goals in 2012 also earned him the MLS MVP award. Only Carlos Vela, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Josef Martinez have scored more in a season than Wondolowski.

The American won two MLS Cups with Houston Dynamo as well, but scored just four goals with that team in 37 games.

Landon Donovan (135)

 

Just behind Wondolowski is American hero Landon Donovan. The former LA Galaxy superstar is the joint top scorer for the United States men's national team, and he has secured four MLS Cups with the Galaxy and two with the Quakes. No other player comes close to that many titles.

Donovan scored 135 goals in 340 games in MLS. Had he have played the same number of games as Wondolowski, he would have broken his record. Donovan spent a few years in Europe instead, still scoring an impressive 113 goals in 253 games for the Galaxy and 32 from 87 games for San Jose.

Donovan also has the most assists in MLS history, with 136 in 343 games. There's a reason he's regarded as the best player in MLS history.


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Kei Kamara (139)

 

Kei Kamara is the only man on this list still playing in MLS.

Kamara has netted 139 goals in 391 games and has the best goals-to-game ratio among the top 10 goalscorers in MLS history, at 0.39. Incredibly, he has played for nine MLS clubs across almost 20 years. 

He started with 32 goals in 77 games for the Columbus Crew before netting two in 12 appearances for San Jose and seven in 32 games for the Houston Dynamo.

The Sierra Leone international then moved to Sporting Kansas City, where he scored 38 goals in 113 games. He played in Europe in 2013, then returned to score 19 goals in 52 games for the New England Revolution, 14 in 28 games for the Vancouver Whitecaps, and 17 in 38 games for the Colorado Rapids. 

The moves kept coming for the forward. He scored only one goal in seven games for Minnesota United and now has nine in 32 matches for CF Montreal.

He needs just six goals this season to match Donovan’s record.

Jeff Cunningham (134)

 

The only other American in the top five in MLS history is Jeff Cunningham. He secured two MLS Golden Boots, in 2006 and 2009.

Cunningham netted 134 goals in 365 games during stints with five MLS clubs. He began with 64 goals in 203 games for the Crew, then had 12 in 26 games for the Rapids and 19 in 28 matches with Real Salt Lake.

Cunningham then moved on to Toronto, where he scored only six goals in 32 games. The former U.S. men's national team player also spent three seasons with Dallas, where he had his best goals-to-game ratio, with 33 goals in 66 outings.

Cunningham ended his MLS career with the Crew, scoring two goals in 21 games.

Jaime Moreno (133)

 

Jaime Moreno was the leading goalscorer in MLS history for a short time until the likes of Donovan and Wondolowski arrived. 

In fact, Moreno was the first player ever to reach 100 goals and 100 assists in MLS, in 2009. He became the leading goalscorer in MLS history two years earlier with a goal against the New York Red Bulls to put him at 109 goals, surpassing Jason Kreis.

The Bolivian spent most of his time with D.C. United and is its all-time leading scorer with 152 goals, an incredible 96 goals ahead of Christian Gomez in second.

Bradley Wright-Phillips (117)

Bradley Wright-Phillips was one of the first great goalscoring imports from Europe, and no European has come close to the Englishman's record of 117 goals.

He has won three Supporters' Shields (2013, 2015 and 2018) and two MLS Golden Boots (2014 and 2016), all with the Red Bulls. He scored 126 goals in 240 games for the team, with 109 of those goals coming in MLS.

Just when it appeared that Wright-Phillips' time at the top might have been over, he continued to cement his legacy with nine goals in 19 games for LAFC in 2020. After a move to Columbus in 2021, he scored just one goal in 21 games and retired at the end of the season.

Other Notable MLS Goalscorers

  • Ante Razov (114 in 262 games)
  • Jason Kreis (108 in 305 games)
  • Dwayne De Rosario (104 games in 343 games)
  • Taylor Twellman (101 games in 174 games)
  • Edson Buddle (100 goals in 304 games)