Kei Kamara 100 MLS goals, 12 seasons, 6 clubs

Week two of the 2018 MLS season was another entertaining one. With 38 goals scored across the nine games there was plenty of exciting action to feast upon. One of those 38 goals was more important than the rest on a personal level for Kei Kamara, as it was his 100th regular season goal on his 300th overall MLS appearance.

Kei Kamara 100 MLS goals: Stats by club

In Kamara’s 288 regular season games he has played for six clubs. His MLS career started out in 2006 with Columbus Crew, where he spent two seasons before briefly moving on to San Jose and then to Houston Dynamo.

From there he settled for his longest spell in at one MLS club to date, five seasons with Sporting Kansas City. In the last four seasons Kamara has played for Crew again, New England Revolution and now Vancouver Whitecaps. Let’s take a look at how his goals are broken down by club.

Kei Kamara 100 MLS Goals

Given that Kamara has been on the move a considerable amount it is no surprise to see his goals spread out. He scored the majority of his 100 goals during his time at Sporting KC and Crew SC respectively. In his 288 appearances he has averaged 0.42 goals per 90 minutes.

Kamara’s best season total came in 2015, where he netted a haul of 22 for Columbus Crew. Despite his efforts that season, his firepower was only enough to finish a runner-up in the MLS Cup final.

Kei Kamara 100 MLS goals: All-time list

There are just nine players ahead of Kamara in the Major League Soccer all-time goalscoring list. Out of those nine, just one player (Chris Wondolowski) is still a current player. Wondo is gunning for the overall record, which he may achieve this season. Sitting top of the list is Landon Donovan, who hit 145 goals in 340 games.

It is a possibility that Kamara could end the 2018 season 5th in the all-time standings. He would need another 15 goals to surpass Ante Razov’s 114. Although Kamara has only managed to score more than 15 in a single season on one occasion with his second-best single-season tally standing at 12, which he achieved last year with New England.

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English striker poised to join the MLS 100 Club in 2018

Major League Soccer is back. Week One is in the books and there have been plenty of talking points, with 26 goals scored and five red cards in ten games. But one familiar face was missing from the action as Bradley Wright-Phillips and his New York Red Bulls team’s first game of the season isn’t until this coming weekend.

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers – Saturday March 10 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

As RBNY prepare to get their 2018 MLS campaign underway the pressure will be ramping up on goal-machine BWP. A lot is going to be expected from him this season due to some key creative players departing the club this winter, such as Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan. Wright-Phillips will be looking forward to getting going and will be hoping to get off the mark straight away.

The Englishman won’t be looking into personal records too much, but he will be aware that he is closing in on 100 MLS goals, which will no doubt give him an added hunger to hit the ground running.

So how has BWP performed since joining RBNY in 2013?

The stats make for promising reading for both BWP breaking the record and for RBNY to have another positive season. Since joining in 2013 they have made the postseason every year. In a total of 154 games he has found the net 95 times for Red Bulls, with 86 of them coming in regular season play.

His goalscoring form over the last four seasons has been consistent. In 2013 he only featured in seven regular season games, hence the apparent low-scoring campaign. His 2014 tally of 27 saw him join the record books for the joint most goals in a single regular season, becoming the only non-US player to achieve that feat.

With the above stats in mind, ‘BWP’ needs just 14 regular season goals – or five goals if you count postseason stats – to notch his 100th, which based on his stats in each of his full seasons, he looks poised to achieve. Over the past four regular season campaigns he has averaged 21.25 goals per season.

So long as Wright-Phillips keeps to his consistent performances he will join the MLS 100 Club in 2018. But his main aim will be to continue to fight for an MLS Cup, something he is yet to achieve as he prepares to get underway for his sixth MLS season.

Will BWP net his 100th MLS goal this season and help RBNY to reach the playoffs again?

Three players Conte should bring to Chelsea this summer

Chelsea’s Premier League struggles in the 2015/16 season were well documented. Their defence of the title was shambolic and incoming boss Antonio Conte has a huge task on his hands to rebuild the side. Lewis Addley explores three top performers from Serie A who would improve the current Chelsea squad…

Strengthening the Chelsea squad is going to be the first area for Conte to address this summer after so many lapsed performances from the title winning side of just 12 months ago.

Chelsea have been renowned for a strong core through the middle of the pitch during their successful seasons and this is something they lacked in the 2015/16 campaign.

With Conte’s Serie A experience in mind let’s have a look at three potential suitors from the league who could stabilise Chelsea and become the new generation of core players.

Kostas Manolas 

The Roma centre-back had an impressive 2015/16 season and strikes a number of qualities which arguably make him a good suitor for the Premier League. He is a hard tackler who can play out from the back, something clubs are looking for in modern-day defenders.

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So let’s have a look at how the 24-year-old Greek international performed in the 15/16 season. He won’t come cheap and a number of clubs may be more tempting for Manolas, who will want to be playing Champions League football.

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Key stats from Manolas in the 2015/16 Serie A season

As we can see Manolas played all but one game, averaging more than one tackle per game, nearly two interceptions per game, 4.3 clearances per game and he won 76% of his aerial duels. The Roma defender’s stats show how often he was in the right position

Radja Nainggolan 

The Chelsea midfield lacked its industrial side through 15/16 and left its defence vulnerable to oncoming attacks in practically every game. Again from Roma, Nainggolan possesses the ability to break up play, move the ball quickly and keep things simple. He’s performance levels have alerted a number of the top clubs in Europe and he would surely come with a hefty price tag.

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Nainggolan is 28, so he is in his prime and fitness providing, he could potentially offer six more years at the highest level. Let’s have a look at his key stats in Serie A from the 15/16 season.

Nainggolan

Nainggolan’s key stats in the 15/16 Serie A season

The standout stat for Nainggolan is his pass accuracy, coming in at 85%. He averaged 1.4 tackles won per game and 1.3 interceptions per game. Nainggolan also adds the occasional goal and creates chances for teammates, both of which aren’t the main focus of his game, so he clearly has the all-round quality to be a success in the Premier League.

Gonzalo Higuain 

Chelsea lacked quality in depth in striking options last season and the mixed bag of Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato were insufficient support for Diego Costa, who too had a quiet campaign in front of goal.

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Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain had far from a quiet season, he netted 36 times and broke the 66-year long standing record of 35 goals. The Argentine forward has a wealth of experience and at 28 he would be an ideal striker for just about any club in Europe.

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As we can see, Higuain scored more than one goal a game, an incredible stat every striker strives to achieve. He set up two goals along the way and created 51 chances for teammates. His shot accuracy and pass accuracy may look a little low, but when you’ve scored as many as he did they are not concerning stats.

If Conte was to sign Higuain and play him alongside Costa he would have one of the most physical and deadly strike partnerships in the Premier League. Problems could well arise if Costa remains at Chelsea and Conte only opts for a lone striker, as neither of the two will be happy sitting on the bench.

While these signings are hypothetical at this stage it is worth mentioning the potential newcomers at Chelsea would be in for a tougher challenge in a more competitive Premier League.

However, as the stats mentioned suggest all three of these players are top performers and would be expected to improve the four-time Premier League champions and fire them back into a side capable of challenging on all fronts.

Would the Chelsea squad improve with these potential signings? Will Conte be given the funding needed to revamp Chelsea?

Would this £50m striker answer Manchester United’s goalscoring problems?

Manchester United‘s goalscoring problems have been well documented by pundits and fans alike throughout this season. The summer transfer window is fast approaching and there have already been plenty of players linked to United.

According to Tuttosport.com, Alvaro Morata is a striker Manchester United are looking into. Any sale of the 23-year-old Spaniard would not come through Juventus directly. Tuttosport highlight United would be prepared to offer a figure around £50 million for the forward.

Morata has a buy-back clause of £24 million from his former club Real Madrid, who could well be tempted into resigning their former man to sell on to potential suitors for profit.

If United are interested in signing Morata as the reports state, Madrid would potentially stand to make a whopping £26 million if they were to exercise their right to buy him back from Juventus.

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But is he the right man to lead Manchester United’s frontline? Lets have a look at his statistics.

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Morata 2015/16 league stats compared to Martial, Rooney and Rashford

As we can see, Morata made the most appearances in his domestic league compared to the three United strikers in question above. However, the only area he outperformed any of them was in assists.

Anthony Martial scored the most of the strikers compared with 11 goals coming in three less appearances than the Juve man. Marcus Rashford had the highest shot accuracy, though this is unsurprising given his substantially lower amount of games played. Wayne Rooney had the highest pass accuracy and created more chances than the other three strikers listed.

Manchester United’s Martial had the highest direct involvement with goals for his side, combining with his assists to tally at 15. Morata and Rooney came in joint second, with 14 each and Rashford had the lowest output with seven.

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It is worth mentioning that these comparisons are only an indication of the output all four of the strikers in question, though it is difficult to make an exact comparison given the differing number of appearances.

With the stats presented in mind it would be hard to make a case for United to spend anywhere near £50 million on the Juventus forward and there would more than likely be a number of other candidates whose comparable statistics would provide a better option for the club this summer.

Morata’s strike rate is one goal in every 4.85 games, which in comparison to Rooney – who has had his fair share of critics this season despite an injury-stricken campaign – is worse, as the United captain has averaged a goal in every 3.5 games.

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Martial and Rashford have had far less criticism than Rooney and their statistics better both Rooney and Morata’s. Martial is averaging a goal every 2.8 games, while Rashford’s output is one in every 2.2 outings.

It is clear from the United strikers in question that the squad needs an out-and-out goalscorer in this window. This would take some of the pressure off of the young shoulders of Martial and Rashford but would also give them another quality teammate to learn from.

Given these statistics Morata doesn’t look the right option for United, but as we all know, stats don’t tell the full story in football.

Would Manchester United be wrong to make a move for Morata? Who should they be going after in the summer transfer window?

Could Harry Kane become the all-time Premier League top scorer?

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has had a fantastic Premier League season and is on track to win the Golden Boot with one game to play. The Englishman has netted 25 goals and Lewis Addley explores whether or not he could become the all-time leading goalscorer in Premier League history…

Harry Kane’s Premier League goalscoring record currently stands at 49 goals in 85 games, giving him an average of 0.57 goals per game.

Alan Shearer remains the all-time leading goalscorer in Premier League history, scoring 260 over the course of a stellar career with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United from the 1992/93 season until he retired aged 35 at the end of the 2005/06 season.

Kane is only young but has already been compared to Shearer on several occasions for his direct and attacking play style, so lets have a look at how the two compare by their Premier League statistics respectively.

Kane vs. Shearer

Alan Shearer’s Premier League goalscoring record compared to Harry Kane

As we can see in the table above, the standout comparison to be made is in the form of ‘goals per game’. The two strikers can barely be separated in this respect, with Shearer just edging it by averaging 0.01 more goals per appearance.

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So how can we hypothetically test the theory of Kane potentially equalling Shearer’s record at this early stage?

First of all we can minus Kane’s current statistics from his career so far from Shearer’s overall statistics. Using that method allows us to have an idea of what Kane would need to do to equal Shearer over the next decade or so.

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Games and goals remaining for Kane to equal Shearer’s record

As we can see, Kane will hypothetically have 356 Premier League games to score 211 goals if he was to equal Shearer’s tally of 260 league goals. This would require him to increase his goals-per-game output by 0.02.

Harry Kane will be 23 come the start of the next Premier League season. Shearer retired aged 35. This gives another hypothesis to explore. The remaining time Kane has to reach Shearer’s retirement age is 12 years, potentially giving him 12 Premier League seasons to shine in.

A total of 12 more Premier League seasons would allow for a maximum of 456 games. This would allow Kane to miss 100 games across 12 seasons to factor in the likelihood of time spent on the sideline through injury, suspension, illness or any other reason.

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We must mention that we are only working with hypothetical statistics here, as Kane could move from the Premier League, play less games because of injuries, or more games by enjoying a longer career than Shearer.

While we aren’t suggesting that Kane is or isn’t going to beat Shearer’s record, the stats we have looked into offer an interesting talking point.

Providing Kane remains fit and able to continue with his current scoring ratio, he does hypothetically stand a very good chance of reaching or even surpassing 260 goals in the Premier League.

Do you think Kane has the potential to become the all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League? Will Alan Shearer’s record ever be broken?

Will Harry Kane end the season as the Premier League’s top scorer?

Much has been made of the brilliant form of Harry Kane this season and Lewis Addley explores whether he can win the Premier League golden boot this year…

Having already notched 23 goals in all competitions for Tottenham so far this season there seems to be no end to Harry Kane‘s goalscoring habit.

As we know, he isn’t just finding the net against smaller teams but banging them in past the big sides in the Premier League too and has bagged a brace against both Chelsea and Arsenal already this season.

He is only four goals behind top scorer Diego Costa (17) in the league on 13 goals and he still has plenty of games ahead to make up the difference and overtake whoever is in front of him.

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Kane has bagged five in his last three including the crucial winner in the North London derby and with Tottenham Hotspur taking on West Ham United this Sunday lunchtime you wouldn’t bet against him finding the net again.

Spurs have a high volume of games as they balance domestic commitments alongside European games in the UEFA Europa League and although fitness is always a factor, Kane has the hunger to play every game and the desire to score goals seems to give him that boost in each appearance.

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

His two goals in the dramatic 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Years Day were pivotal to proving to any remaining doubters that he really does mean business and has what it takes to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

With 13 league games remaining Kane has plenty of time to add to his tally and with his confidence sky-high there is little doubt that he will continue to do so. Pulling rank to take penalties gives Kane even more opportunity for goals and he appears to be unstoppable at this moment in time.

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Kane has a wide variety of dimensions to his game, as we have seen this season, and that gives the 21-year-old forward that edge over many other goalscorers in the league. Whether it be strikes from range long or quick thinking in the box he is scoring all types of goals.

Kane’s confident approach to games and his professional attitude certainly gives him a good chance of winning the Golden Boot come the end of the campaign.

Do you think Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot in the Premier League this season?

What can New York City expect from David Villa?

New York City will be delighted that they’ll be able to start their inaugural campaign with a striker of David Villa‘s calibre.

The Spaniard has had a wonderful career to this point, winning numerous league, cup and European titles in his native country with Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well as becoming a European (2008) and World Cup champion (2010) with the national team.

His international performance is remarkable and he holds a wide array of records for the Spanish national side, including most goals (59), most World Cup finals goals (9) and most goals scored in one World Cup (5 in 2010).

Out of the top ten goalscorers in Major League Soccer last season, only Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City holds a better career goals-per-game ratio than David Villa with 0.57 on average per-game – Villa’s is 0.50 per-game.

David Villa stats

It’s worth bearing in mind that Villa has netted these goals at the highest level of the game consistently, both at club and international level, whereas Dwyer, despite all his undeniable talent, has never ventured outside of MLS, nor has he played for his country.

The Spanish goal-machine possesses the technique and finishing ability that most can only dream of and has regularly produced in the world’s most elite competitions which will allow him to bring in a whole wealth of experience due to the honours he’s won in the past (and lost, of course).

With the support from midfield in the shape of players such as Frank Lampard, the New York City frontline could make for a devastating combination, providing they click.

Will David Villa make a big impact in his first MLS season?

Orlando City sign Bryan Rochez as second designated player, but who is he?

On another big day of spending for the Florida-based side, Orlando City have have taken a huge gamble by making Bryan Rochez their second designated player after Kaka.

At the ripe age of nineteen he has made a meteoric rise in his country of birth, Honduras, and already has six caps for Los Catrachos.

The news comes as a bit of a shock seeing as Orlando have been linked with more high-profile targets such as Robinho and Brek Shea recently.

However, in Rochez they have a natural goalscorer as he was the second highest scorer in the Honduran Premier League last season with 20 goals. And he has started this campaign with the same form, netting eight times in fifteen appearances.

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Rochez is the first Honduran to be a part of the Orlando City squad and joins fellow designated player, Kaka, in Orlando’s debut season in MLS.

He was a member of the Honduran under-20 team that won the Central American games in 2013, where he scored the winner as they won 1-0 against Costa Rica in the final.

Orlando now has a fresh young talent in Rochez but he is yet to be proven in the fast paced game that MLS provides. And at only nineteen years of age, will this big gamble pay off for Orlando City?

Many will question this bit of business from the Florida-based franchise, however, he could be just the key finisher to latch on to the creativity that Kaka is sure to provide.

Do you think Bryan Rochez will be a success at Orlando City?

Bradley Wright-Phillips cements place in MLS history with tied goalscoring record

Bradley Wright-Phillips made history on Sunday as he fired himself in to the record books by becoming the joint highest goalscorer in an MLS season.

His brace in Kansas helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 win and in the process took his tally to 27 goals – a number only previously achieved by Chris Wondolowski of San Jose Earthquakes in 2012 and Roy Lassiter of the now dissolved Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996.

Out of the three strikers that share the record, he managed to amass his goals in the least game time with 2,573 minutes spent on the pitch compared to the 2,813 minutes and 2,580 minutes that it took Wondolowski and Lassiter respectively.

He started less games and also managed to record the highest number of shots-on-target out of the three.

BWP StatsOther than one great season at Charlton Athletic in the 2011/12 campaign, Wright-Phillips was a player struggling to find his feet in the English game and the epiphany to join Major League Soccer must be a moment he looks back on with great fondness having now established himself as one of the sport’s truly great players.

Crossing the Atlantic is undoubtedly one of the boldest but greatest moves he has made in his career and now he’s reaping the rewards as well as hunting down MLS Cup glory with New York Red Bulls.

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Winning the golden boot and equalling the record is a wonderful achievement for the Englishman but his work for the season is far from over as attentions turn immediately to the Eastern Conference knockout round where New York will take on Sporting Kansas City at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday.

The way he performs in the knockout round and the further potential playoff games will be vital to the Red Bulls if they are to stand any chance of making the MLS Cup Final on Sunday 7th December.

Can Bradley Wright-Phillips fire New York Red Bulls to MLS Cup success?

Robbie Keane: The goal machine

The playoffs are now fast approaching and other than their defeat last weekend, LA Galaxy have been in a superb run of form going in to it, so they will be full of confidence.

They have lost just 3 of their last 24 games and went on a 10-game unbeaten run from 29th July to 5th October.

LA Galaxy’s last 24 games: Played 24 – Won 15 – Drawn 6 – Lost 3

Much of the attention for their achievements so far this season have focused on club legend, Landon Donovan, and rightly so.

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But with all eyes on Donovan, it’s allowed forward, Robbie Keane, to go about his business quietly but extremely efficiently.

He is the Galaxy’s top goalscorer with 19 and is the third highest across the entire MLS this season, behind only Red Bulls record-chaser Bradley Wright-Phillips (25 goals) and Dom Dwyer (21 goals) of Sporting Kansas City.

The Irishman has contributed an almost record-breaking 33 goals this season (19 scored – 14 assisted).

The record for most goals contributed in one MLS season is currently held by Chris Wondolowski when he notched 27 goals and 7 assists for San Jose Earthquakes in 2012, making it 34 in total.

Other notable efforts were that of Jason Kreis – he contributed 33 goals (18 scored – 15 assisted) for FC Dallas in 1999.

Cobi Jones, also of LA Galaxy, contributed 32 goals (19 scored – 13 assisted) in the 1998 season.

Most goals contributed in an MLS season

  • 34 – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – 2012
  • 33 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 2014
  • 33 – Jason Kreis (FC Dallas) – 1999
  • 32 – Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) – 1998
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It all means that if Robbie Keane can either assist or score one more goal in his last two games, he will equal the record for most goals contributed in any MLS season – two more goals would see him set the record.

It comes as no coincidence as his maiden voyage in Major League Soccer saw him play a hand in 25 goals when he scored 16 and set-up 9 in the 2012 season.

The 2013 season saw him involved in 27 goals with 16 scored and 11 assisted, so he has been very consistent for three years running now and it certainly deserves a mention.

Will Robbie Keane set the record for most goals contributed in an MLS season?