As we draw closer to the new campaign Lewis Addley has a look at who could be the top goalscorer come the end of the 2015 season. In no particular order here are the top five candidates, followed by a selection of those who will hot on their tails.
- Bradley Wright Phillips: The New York Red Bulls goal machine has to be a considered once again. His record-tying 27 goal tally in the regular season last time out was an astonishing total which he will be eager to better this season. Without the support of Thierry Henry he will have to work extra hard and teams across the league will be aware of how dangerous he is.
- Dom Dwyer: Sporting Kansas City’s very own Englishman. The 24-year-old was runner up to BWP last season with his tally of 22. Dwyer will be looking to impress once again and will want to emulate his form going into the new campaign. If he continues to be as deadly in the box while remaining fit, we could have a real long-term gem working his way up the all-time MLS goalscoring list.
- David Villa: New York City’s new superstar doesn’t need much of an introduction. The Spanish goal machine has scored countless times for all the clubs he has played for and is the highest goalscorer in the Spanish National Team’s history. Villa will be playing alongside Patrick Mullins and MLS rookie Khiry Shelton, with all three players looking to prove why they signed for the expansion franchise. Villa could find himself wide left instead of spearheading the NYCFC forward line, a position he has played very effectively for both Barcelona and Spain, so his position will determine just how many times he finds the net in 2015.
- Robbie Keane: The veteran 34-year-old cannot go without a mention. Scoring the winning goal in extra-time of the MLS Cup final in December shows he still has the legs and hunger to find the back of the net. His tally of 19 last season is impressive considering he was playing alongside Gyasi Zardes and Landon Donovan, who scored 26 goals combined. Keane is still a star and as long as he is playing, LA Galaxy will score goals.
- Obafemi Martins: The Nigerian striker was the Seattle Sounders’ top scorer last season and he will be looking to help the Sounders retain their MLS Supporters’ Shield this year. With the help of Clint Dempsey we can expect Seattle goals to be spread around again. ‘Obagoal’ will want to break the 20 goal mark in 2015 as he came close to doing so last campaign.
- Jozy Altidore: Expect the big man to find his goalscoring form now he is back home in MLS with Toronto after difficult spells with Premier League sides, Sunderland and Hull City in recent years. If he can find his feet quickly he could be unstoppable.
- Erick Torres: The Mexican’s impressive tally of 15 last season with Chivas led to his move to the Houston Dynamo and he will hope to recapture his form in front of goal when he eventually joins up with his new teammates.
- Patrick Mullins: If, as mentioned above, Mullins is to play through the middle with Villa out-wide it could be another partnership like Henry and BWP. Mullins showed real promise with New England in 2014 and could be set for a big year in New York City.
- Clint Dempsey: Again, as mentioned above, ‘Deuce’ was in with a share of the Sounders goals last campaign and his killer instinct in the box makes him a deadly forward every time he takes to the field.
- Gyasi Zardes: The emerging USMNT star netted 16 goals last season but he will expect to improve on that tally this season. The 23-year-old has bags of confidence and ability to go with it.