2021 MLS Top Goalscorer Predictions, Preview and Outright Winner Picks

Gyasi Zardes is a key player for Columbus Crew
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Liam Flin


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An avid Arsenal fan, I have been writing about soccer for several years and am particularly interested in Major League Soccer, the German Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga.

It was challenging for any offensive player to find rhythm in Major League Soccer last season but a more consistent schedule should see the usual candidates involved in the race for the Golden Boot as well as a handful of newcomers.

Here we break down the MLS Top Goalscorer market and look at who could finish top of the charts.

Carlos Vela +375

Anyone unsure of Carlos Vela’s importance to the Los Angeles FC roster need only look at how the side performed in 2019 compared to 2020, when the Mexican was sidelined for most of the campaign.

Vela took the Golden Boot with 34 goals two years ago, helping his side to the Supporters’ Shield, but they could only place seventh in the Western Conference during his absence last season. The 32-year-old will be looking to make up for lost time and heads the betting.

Diego Rossi +450

Vela may have been out of action for most of last year but another LAFC player won the honor of Golden Boot with 14 goals in a truncated season – Diego Rossi.

The Uruguayan now has 42 goals in 85 MLS appearances since joining from Penarol in 2018 and, able to play in a range of roles in the team’s offence, he is another to keep an eye on in the Western Conference this year.

Raul Ruidiaz +600

Peruvian Raul Ruidiaz may not be spectacular but he has been consistent for Seattle Sounders, reaching double figures in MLS goals in each of the three years he has been at the club.

Last year was his best return yet with 12 goals in 17 games but his supply line will be hindered this season with key winger Jordan Morris on loan at Swansea City.

Josef Martinez +700

Josef Martinez formed a deadly combination with Miguel Almiron in Atlanta’s 2018 MLS Cup-winning season, taking the Golden Boot that year with 31 goals.

In the season before he also managed 19 goals in 20 games before firing 27 goals in 29 games in 2019 and the Venezuelan is simply a goals machine. However, after a torn ACL kept him out of action for pretty much the entirety of last season, it remains to be seen if he can recapture his past form.

Gonzalo Higuain +1100

A World Cup runner-up with Argentina and former striker for Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, Gonzalo Higuain is one of the most recognizable names in MLS.

But the Argentinian struggled to get going for expansion side Inter Miami last year, netting one goal in nine appearances and has plenty of work to do if he is to compete for the Golden Boot this year.

Best MLS Top Goalscorer Bet

It could pay to steer clear of the obvious names in the MLS Top Goalscorer market this year and anyone who fancies Columbus Crew to defend their MLS Cup title has to consider Gyasi Zardes at around +1400 to win the Golden Boot.

He was among the leading scorers with 12 goals last year, having fired 13 and 19 in the two seasons before that, and is pushing for a regular place in the USA men’s national soccer team.

Zardes has plenty of MLS experience under his belt and has the added advantage of playing in a team featuring talented offensive players Lucas Zelarayan and new addition Kevin Molino.

Best longshot MLS Top Goalscorer Bet

In terms of a longshot MLS Top Goalscorer selection, former Liga MX forward Alan Pulido makes appeal at +2800.

A lot was expected of Pulido at Sporting Kansas City last season but the shortened campaign and schedule rehash meant MLS viewers only saw a snapshot of what he has to offer.

The Mexican international still bagged six goals in his 12 MLS appearances last year and netted 34 goals for Guadalajara before moving leagues.

Each week our soccer experts’ predictions cover every game from the Premier League, Major League Soccer (MLS), La Liga and from the group stages of the Champions League. Check out today’s Soccer Predictions now!

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