Soccer is back in full swing in the USA, and we’ll be seeing the brightest from America and Canada facing off against one another in a high-intensity season once again. With more rest and proper prep for this season, the 2021 MLS season looks like it could be an absolutely outstanding experience. Goals win games, though, and while we expect to see more intensity than ever, we expect to see plenty of goals.
Who, then, are the players who are most expected to bat for top scorer this MLS season?
Carlos Vela, LAFC (+375)
Mexican wonderkid Carlos Vela has enjoyed an odd career to date, but he’s been a stellar hit in the MLS. He’s been a crucial component of an LAFC side that has gained respect over the last while and could be a clear runner for the top scorer this year.
Though not naturally an out-and-out striker, Vela has a natural nose for goal and could be an ideal candidate to lift the top scorer accolade come seasons end.
Diego Rossi, LAFC (+300)
Rossi is an intriguing prospect, an Uruguayan with an eye for goal and no shortage of ambition on the ball. He’s progressive and shows creative style in just about everything he does. Since arriving in MLS, though, he has slowly but surely developed a more clinical edge. Expect him to be in about the top scoring charts this MLS season as he begins to really make his presence felt on a regular basis.
Josef Martinez, Atlanta (+500)
While most would see the Venezuelan as a lock for a top scorer run, it comes down to fitness. His long-term fitness problems have been a major issue for the player, and it might not be the same gunslinger who was so impressive for an all-conquering Atlanta side in the past.
If he can even get back to 70% of what he was, though, Martinez is easily among the most impressive goal-getters in the MLS at present.
Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami (+900)
This one is a bit of a distance shout, but the Argentina international has proven over the years he can put the ball in the net. He’s a quality striker, an all-around bustling bruiser who can definitely find the net if given the opportunity. He’s got a year to settle in now, and despite being a bit of a flop in his MLS debut year, Inter Miami and Higuain look better-placed to do some damage this year.
Javier Hernandez, LA Galaxy (+1800)
OK, so this is an absolute dark horse of the highest order. Still, the reasoning is simple: Chicharito is simply too good a player to replicate the same struggles for a second season running in MLS. Though his team, the LA Galaxy, aren’t by any means in the title race, we could see Hernandez eat up plenty of goal-scoring opportunities now he is more acclimated to the team, the league, and his colleagues.