Thursday Lunch: Who Will Be next to Reach 100 Goals?

Posted: September 1, 2011 in mls, professional sports, soccer, sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Evan Ream

Jeff Cunningham (134), Jaime Moreno (133), Landon Donovan (114), Ante Razov (114), Jason Kreis (108) and Taylor Twellman (101) make up the exclusive list of MLS players that have scored 100 or more regular season goals. The drop off after Twellman is pretty significant, as the next highest goal total is 90 goals (Edson Buddle). So, who will be the next MLS Player to tally 100 career strikes? It won’t happen this year, but it could happen next year. Here are the candidates:

Edson Buddle (90): Buddle would probably easily score 10 goals in a single MLS season. The only question is: Will he play another season in MLS? Right now Buddle plays for FC Ingolstadt 04 in the German 2 Bundesliga. His scoring record there (mostly as a substitute) is a solid but unspectacular 4 goals in 18 games. Buddle probably wants a shot to play in the Bundesliga, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen and at 30 years old, he likely will want to come back to MLS soon enough rather than spend the later years of his career in an unfamiliar country. I expect Buddle to be the prize of some team next summer transfer window. He will get to 100 goals the season after… but someone will beat him.

Carlos Ruiz (88): Ruiz is tied for seventh place on the all-time list with retired star Roy Lassiter. Ruiz had a chance to be the next to 100, but he transferred to Mexico. As this was his fourth destination (fifth if you count the two times he played for L.A.) in MLS, I doubt we’ll see him play another game in the league, and if he does, he won’t be around long enough to score 12 goals.

Dwayne De Rosario (86): DeRo will be the next player to 100 goals. Despite his age (33), De Rosario is on pace for his third consecutive double-digit goal season despite having one in his previous eight seasons. DeRo is a late bloomer who doesn’t require speed or quickness to score his goals, but intelligence and a smooth strike on the ball. De Rosario will probably score two to four more goals by the end of the season, leaving him needing 10-12 goals next year, which is extremely possible, especially if he continues to be DC United’s main goal scoring threat. Next year De Rosario will become the seventh player to 100 goals.

Josh Wolff (80): Josh Wolff will not come close to breaking the 100 mark. He has 5 goals this season and is probably good for 1-2 more, but asking him to score that many goals for the next 3 seasons is probably a bit much. Wolff will be 35 next season and probably not a first choice player. He still has a few goals left in him, but he doesn’t have 20.

Brian Ching (77): Brian Ching will get to the 100-goal mark, but it will be after De Rosario. The Houston forward and former US international has been plagued by injuries but still manages to score and is still in great shape. Ching has 5 goals this year in just 11 starts and 966 minutes. As long as Ching is on the field, he will score goals. He should end up around 100 in 2-3 years’ time.

After these players, there is another huge drop off with no active player beside Juan Pablo Angel (62) having more than 50 goals. Thus, if the great hopes of De Rosario and Ching fail to get to the century mark we will have to put our hopes in Conor Casey (48). Casey is out for the year because of an Achilles injury, but in just 103 MLS games he has 48 goals. Casey is 30 years old ,and if he continues at his current rate (assuming a 34 game season), he could have the 100 goal mark locked up in just three years.

After Casey, there aren’t really any viable candidates, so it could actually be a LONG time before we see another player hit 100. Of course this will all be a moot point in about 20 years, when MLS is one of the top leagues in the World (not better than the top 5-6 in Europe though) and be able to produce a World Class forward that will start scoring goals in bunches and be able to afford to hold on to him for 10+ years. A player like this, if he started at around 18, could probably score almost 200 goals and break the all-time record that will be Landon Donovan’s soon enough.

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