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Potential 20-goal scorers in MLS; expanding the list

Feb 8, 2013, 8:37 AM EST

Chicago Fire v D.C. United Getty Images

MLSSoccer.com dropped a sweet little dealy this morning, naming three potential 20-goal scorers in MLS.

The hook, of course, is that reaching the 20-goal plateau represents true gold standard accomplishment in the league. Remember, over the past five seasons, only Kenny Cooper, Landon Donovan and Chris “Wondo” Wondolowski have even reached the 18-goal mark.

Wondolowski, of course, is the only to actually climb and plant his flag atop 20-goal hill.

The clevers at MLSSoccer.com reckon in the article that Will Bruin, Robbie Keane and Alvaro Saborio are the three candidates most likely to breach Fortress 20-goal this year, and hard to argue much about that. (Saborio, with a tendency to pick up nicks, and with so much tough duty ahead for Costa  Rica seems least likely of the three to me.)

Implied here is Wondolowski, who truly has the best odds of reaching 20 once again. He hit for 27 last year, after all.

But let’s join in on the fun.

Here are a few more who could, with some good fortune and really good service, get there.

Sporting Kansas City’s Cladio Bieler – That’s why they brought the Ecuadorian, and that’s why they are paying him DP wages, to be the front-line scorer missing around Sporting Park over the last two seasons. He could be the proverbial “final puzzle piece” for Peter Vermes’ men.

D.C. United’s Chris Pontius – The caveat here is that Ben Olsen would need to play Pontius (pictured above) as a striker, not as an outside midfielder. Not that he can’t score from the midfield; he simply would be less likely, obviously.

Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson – Fredy Montero won’t be around to draw defensive attention. Then again, a full year of service from Mauro Rosales will mean a lot.

Vancouver Whitecaps Darren Mattocks – The piece at MLSSoccer.com is built around his claim that he can score 20 this year. So there.

FC Dallas’ Kenny Cooper – The trick here is how the minutes at striker will be divided up? Blas Perez and Eric Hassli will get their time, too. Cooper’s last season in Dallas finished with 18 goals.

  1. Dan - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    I would offer up Jack McInerney from Union, especially with Michael Farfan having another year under his belt and the return of Sebastian LeToux. I think he certainly improves upon his output from last season.

    • Steve Davis - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Good call. I did think of young Jack … but at 20 years old it just seemed like a bit of stretch. He certainly is an emerging talent.

    • mvktr2 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      I’m enthralled with Jack Mac, have been for years since he was on the U18s. I seriously see him very much as a more athletic Chris Wondolowski (still not a super athlete) but also more technically gifted with a higher ceiling and obviously discovered-valued-developed at a much younger age. All that means I have hope for him beyond MLS and into the USMNT. All that pomp to say, I’d be quite surprised if Jack hits 16+ let along sniffing 20. If he did approach 20 that would truly be a breakout year!

      Worth noting his and Hackworth’s conversation concerning expectations for the year. Hack set a goal of 13 goals minimum for him. Add in he now has to fight to maintain his position with the Striker-Forward additions and this is a year he’ll be pushed, which is good for young players. Expectations+Competition=Growth

  2. Dan - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Well said, Steve. He started out like a house of fire and fizzled. That really was a direct result of the downward slide Union took. Granted, Michael Farfan is a fun, young creative midfielder. But he had little help himself. If Union can improve in the midfield overall, I see Jack making a strong push for bigger things.

    Too… He could in time be an option for the USMNT.

  3. pensfan603 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    ya know Alex for the Fire gets paid 124,000 and he is not a DP, nor is that salary at all considered high, while fabian castillo gets paid 56,000 dollars and is a DP. Beilers salary is unknown and im guessing SKC would pay alot for their DP but you shouldnt put to much stock on it.

  4. firewolf777 - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I am super happy to hear people talking about jack Mac.
    His performance might be hurt be Sebastian le toux though, I want to see jack up top not le toux. Jack has a special talent for seeing the ball in the air. It really surprises me how high this kids ceilin is, I really want him to Stand out its about time.

  5. joeyt360 - Feb 9, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I doubt there’s much chance of seeing Pontius regularly at forward. I think that possibility more or less left town with Najar. And yea, if a guy scored 20 from a wide mid spot, he’d be the best wide mid in the league, probably the best wide mid in league history.

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