Since Major League soccer began play in 1996, the United States and Canada has been home to some of the world’s finest attacking talent. The likes of David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco have been scoring at an unprecedented rate over the last few years, but there are those from the league’s humble beginnings that scored at an even more impressive clip.
According to MLSsoccer.com’s all-time goalscoring leaders page, Landon Donovan, who played for both the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy in his career, was the historic leader with 145 goals in 340 games until Chris Wondolowski broke his record on May 18, 2019.
Donovan began scoring goals in MLS in 2001 after a two-year period with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. He starred for the Quakes between 2001 and 2004, and then he became the focal point of attack for Los Angeles between 2005 and 2014. He briefly returned from retirement in 2016 to add another goal to his tally.
Donovan’s rate of 0.45 goals for every 90 minutes is extremely high for a player that was never an out-and-out striker. Remarkably, Donovan is also the all-time league leader in assists with 136, one more than second-best Steve Ralston.
But Wondolowski topped Donovan's mark with a four goals against the Chicago Fire, taking two fewer matches to accomplish the feat.
The players with the most career goals in MLS history:
MLSsoccer.com’s ranking of the top 20 scorers in the history of MLS is as follows:
#1. Chris Wondolowski (Houston, San Jose) - 148 goals from 338 matches (0.52 per 90 minutes)
#2. Landon Donovan (San Jose, LA Galaxy) - 145 goals from 340 matches (0.45 goals per 90)
#3. Jeff Cunningham (Columbus, Colorado, Salt Lake, Toronto, Dallas) - 134 goals from 365 matches (0.53 per 90)
#4. Jaime Moreno (DC United, MetroStars) - 133 goals from 340 matches (0.46 per 90)
#5. Kei Kamara (Columbus, San Jose, Houston, Kansas City, New England, Vancouver, Colorado) - 119 goals from 325 matches (0.44 per 90)
#6. Ante Razov (LA Galaxy, Chicago, Columbus, MetroStars, Chivas USA) - 114 goals from 262 matches (0.50 per 90)
#7. Jason Kreis (Dallas, Real Salt Lake) - 108 goals from 305 matches (0.39 per 90)
#8. Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY Red Bulls) - 107 goals from 177 matches (0.68 per 90)
#9. Dwayne De Rosario (San Jose, Houston, Toronto, NY Red Bulls, DC United) - 104 goals from 343 matches (0.37 per 90)
#10. Taylor Twellman (New England) - 101 goals from 174 matches (0.60 per 90)
#11. Edson Buddle (Columbus, NY Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, Colorado) - 100 goals from 304 matches (0.45 per 90)
#12. Carlos Ruiz (LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, Philadelphia) - 89 goals from 183 matches (0.57 per 90)
#13. Roy Lassiter (Tampa Bay, DC United, Miami Fusion, Kansas City) - 88 goals from 179 matches (0.58 per 90)
#14. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) - 83 goals from 125 matches (0.69 per 90)
#15. Brian Ching (LA Galaxy, San Jose, Houston) - 82 goals from 233 matches (0.47 per 90)
(All facts and numbers courtesy of MLSsoccer.com)