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Happy Birthday to Steve Ralston … and wondering if anyone will catch his MLS assist mark?

Jun 14, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT


Steve Ralston, who helped create more MLS goals than anyone in the league’s 19-year history, turns 39 today.

He is a trusted assistant on Dominic Kinnear’s staff in Houston. But until just a few years ago, Ralston was a tidy possession and crossing specialist who meant a lot to the strong New England Revolution teams of the last decade.

He chalked up 135 assists over 14 MLS seasons, far and away the league’s all-time top total. I was once close to convinced that Landon Donovan would catch Ralston if he remained in MLS for the duration. Now? Maybe not nearly as much.

And if it’s not Donovan, Houston’s Brad Davis is the only man within stiffing distance. But he’s 31, and would probably need to retain the current pace (about 12 a year) over three more seasons (through 2016) to get there.

Here’s the MLS all-time list:


  1. mkbryant3 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    “What rhymes with Cienfuegos?”

    • mvktr2 - Jun 15, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      Being Diego
      Golden Halo

  2. talgrath - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Personally I think that while Ralston might be all-time, Valderrama’s is far more impressive. 114 assists in 175 games means he managed to make an assist about 3/4ths of the games he played throughout his career, nobody else comes anywhere close to matching that rate on the list. Really Ralston seems to have the record just because he played so many games in MLS, he averaged about 1 every 3 games.

  3. footballer4ever - Jun 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM


    Great observation. Other than seeing the assists total, my eyes went first to the total games played and Valderrama followed by etcheverry are the ones who have assist per game ratio. Asuuming Valderrama had played same matches amount as Ralston, he could have easily reached the 250-300 assist in his MLS career.

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