The MLS has had some lethal finishers throughout the years and some very memorable names. Some of the players on this list are still active as of April 2021 so they could be even higher ranked in the future.
Many players on this list have also had European careers but later came to the MLS and made a big impact on the leaue. Scoring goals comes easy to some of these players as they have racked up an impressive goal count.
It's interesting to think about how different this very same list will look a couple of years from now since many of the top goalscorers are still active now. This list is accurate as of before the 2021 MLS season. Without further ado, let's take a look at the highest goal scorers in MLS history!
25. Kenny Cooper Jr
Kenny Cooper Jr is a former 2008 MLS Best XI who started his career with European giants Manchester United. He has scored 75 goals in 211 appearances while in the MLS and retired in 2015 playing for Montreal Impact.
Cooper's dad, Kenny Cooper Sr, played professional soccer as well. He was a goalkeeper in the Premier League before also moving to the United States were he played for Dallas Tornado in the North American Soccer League.
24. Steve Ralston
Steve Ralston is an American former midfielder who played most of his career playing for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New England Revolution. When he retired in 2010, he was the league's all-time leader in assists with 135.
Ralston also held the United States record for most professional appearances in 2010 with 412. He has 76 goals in 378 appearances in the MLS. Ralston was also the assistant coach for the Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes.
23. David Villa
David Villa is a soccer legend. The retired Spanish striker is regarded as one of the best forwards of his generation. He scored 77 goals in 117 games while in the MLS which also gives him one of the best games-to-goals ratio in league history.
Villa is a very decorated player who has won many prestigeous awards. He won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 along with the Champions League with Barcelona. He was the MLS MVP in 2016 and is a two-time MLS Best XI.
22. Josef Martinez
Josef Martinez is a Venezuelan striker who plays for Atlanta United. He holds the MLS record for career hat-tricks with six and the record for most consecutive games with a goal with 15. He has been tearing up the league ever since his arrival in 2017.
Martinez became the most decorated player in a single MLS season in 2018 when he won the League MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Golden Boot, and MLS Cup Final MVP. He has 77 goals in 84 games and is still active so we could easily see him way higher on this list in the future.
Predrag Radosavljevic, better known as Preki, is a former Serbian midfielder who is an "MLS Original" since he played for the Kansas City Wizards when the league began in 1996. He is the only player to win two MLS MVP awards.
Preki has 79 goals in 242 games in the MLS. In 2020 he was inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame. He won the MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield with the Kansas City Wizards in 2000 and is an MLS legend.
20. Josh Wolff
Josh Wolff is a former American player who is the current Austin FC head coach. Wolff won two CONCACAF Gold Cups with the United States and has won awards with both the Chicago Fire and the Kansas City Wizards.
Wolff has 80 goals in 267 appearances in the MLS. He won an MLS Cup and Western Conference Championship with the Chicago fire and the Western Conference Championship with the Kansas City Wizards too. He also won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with both teams.
19. Brian McBride
Brian McBride is a former American player who played for the Columbus Crew and Chicago fire. He is the fifth all-time leading goalscorer for the United States national team and was the team captain for England side Fulham for four years.
McBride has 80 goals in 220 appearances. He has the same number of goals as Josh Wolff but we have ranked him higher since he got to that goal tally with less matches played. McBride won the U.S. Open Cup in 2002 with the Columbus Crew and was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014.
18. Brian Ching
Brian Ching is a former American player who played in the MLS for twelve years and represented the United States national team for eight. He was the first player of Hawaiian descent to be selected in the MLS draft. He scored 82 goals in 233 games while in the MLS.
Ching has won three MLS Cups, one with the San Jose Earthquakes and two with the Houston Dynamo. He has also won two MLS Western Conference Championships and an MLS Supporters' Shield. The 2004 MLS Golden Boot winner put up some numbers while in the MLS.
17. Dom Dwyer
Dom Dwyer is an active American player who plays as a forward for Orlando City SC. He was born in Sussex, England, but became an American citizen in 2017 and later that year he got called up to the United States national team to play in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup were he won the tournament.
Dwyer has 82 goals in 193 appearances. Besides winning the Gold Cup in 2017, he won the MLS Cup, Eastern Conference playoffs, and two U.S. Open Cups with Sporting Kansas City. His transfer from Sporting Kansas City to Orlando City in 2017 is the largest transfer between two MLS clubs.
16. Raul Diaz Arce
Rauld Diaz Arce is a former Salvadoran player who played as a forward. He is El Salvador's top goal scorer with 39 goals in 68 appearances. He also played for 12 different teams and 5 different MLS clubs.
Arce has 82 goals in 150 appearances while in the MLS. He won two MLS Cups, the Supporters' Shield, and the U.S. Open Cup with D.C. United. In 2009, Diaz-Arce was inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition.
15. Diego Valeri
Diego Valeri is an active Argentine midfielder who is the Portland Timbers captain. He is considered as one of the best MLS players of all time and is a four-time MLS All-Star and three-time MLS Best XI. He also led his team to win the MLS Cup in 2015.
Valeri has 83 goals in 230 matches while in the MLS. He won the 2017 Landon Donovan MVP Award and the 2013 Newcomer of the Year award while playing with the Portland Timbers. He also won the MLS is Back tournament in 2020.
14. Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane is a former Irish forward who is the top goalscorer for the Republic of Ireland national team. He started his career in Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers were he scored two goals in his debut at only 17 years old.
Keane has 83 goals in 125 matches playing for LA Galaxy. He won three MLS Cups and the Supporters' Shield while also being a four-time MLS Best XI. He was the 2014 MLS MVP and is a four-time LA Galaxy Most Valuable Player.
13. Roy Lassiter
Roy Lassiter is a former American striker who played in the MLS when the league formed in 1996. He was one of the most lethal strikers in the league at the time and won the very first MLS Golden Boot in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Lassiter has 88 goals in 179 matches while in the MLS and he won the CONCACAF Champions League in 1998 with D.C. United. He also won the MLS Cup in 1999 with D.C. United. One of the original top quality goalscorers that the league has had.
12. Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz is a former Guatemalan player who played for five different MLS clubs (D.C. United, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy). He has 89 goals in 183 matches and has the MLS record for most goals in the post-season with 16.
Ruiz won the MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield with the Galaxy in 2002. That same year he won the MLS Cup MVP and was the Major League Soccer MVP. He is also the all-time top goalscorer in FIFA World Cup qualification games.
11. Edson Buddle
Edson Buddle is a former American player and one of only 11 players in MLS history to have scored 100 goals in the league. He scored 100 goals in 304 matches playing for five different MLS clubs (Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, and Colorado Rapids).
Buddle won the Supporters' Shield with Colombus Crew and LA Galaxy. In 2002 he won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and in 2012 he won the MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy. He was part of the MLS Best XI in 2010.
10. Taylor Twellman
Taylor Twellman is a former American player who is mostly remembered for his time playing with the New England Revolution. From 2002 to 2009 no player scored more goals than Twellman in the MLS and he was also the youngest player to score 100 goals in the MLS.
Twellman has 101 goals in 174 appearances for New England Revolution. He is the teams leading goalscorer and in 2005 he was the MLS MVP. He is a five-time MLS All-Star and also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the United States in 2007.
9. Dwayne De Rosario
Dwayne De Rosario is a former Canadian player who played as a forward or attacking midfielder. He played for five different MLS clubs (San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls, and D.C. United).
De Rosario scored 104 goals in 342 appearances throughout his MLS career. He is a four-time MLS Cup winner and also won the MLS MVP award in 2011. De Rosario is also Canada's leading top scorer with 22 goals in 81 games and a four-time Canadian Player of the Year.
8. Jason Kreis
Jason Kreis is a former American player who is now the assistant coach for Inter Miami. He was the 1999 MLS MVP and at one point during his career he was the all-time leading goal scorer in the MLS. He played most of his career for the Dallas Burn, now known as FC Dallas.
Kreis has 108 goals in 305 MLS appearances. He played 14 games for the United States were he scored one goal. He has coached 3 different MLS teams (Real Salt Lake, New York City FC, and Orlando City).
7. Ante Razov
Ante Razov is a former American forward who is the current Los Angeles FC assistant coach. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for two different current or former MLS clubs (Chicago Fire and Chivas USA). He was the third player in MLS history to score 100 goals.
Razov has 114 MLS goals in 262 appearances. He won the MLS Cup in 1998 and the Supporters' Shield in 2003. He also won three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2002. Razov scored six goals in 25 caps playing for the United States.
6. Bradley Wright-Phillips
Bradley Wright-Phillips is an active English player who plays as a striker for Columbus Crew SC. He started his career playing for Manchester City before eventually making his way to the MLS in 2013. In his first full season with the league he equalled the record for most goals in a single campaign with 27.
Wright-Phillips has 116 goals in 214 MLS games. He has won three Supporters' Shields and is a two-time MLS Golden Boot winner. He is also a two-time MLS Best XI. Wright-Phillips is still active and has the potential to be in the top 5 spots of this list by the time he retires.
5. Kei Kamara
Kei Kamara is a Sierra Leonan striker who currently plays for Minnesota United. The 6'3 powerhouse forward has played most of his career in the MLS and he could be a serious contender for a top 3 spot on this list by the time he retires.
Kamara has 129 goals in 356 MLS appearances. He is a two-time Eastern Conference winner and in 2007 he won the MLS Fair Play Award. In 2015 he was the MLS Cup top-scorer and was also an MLS All-Star.
4. Jaime Moreno
Jaime Moreno is a former Bolivian player who played for D.C. United for the majority of his career. He was the MLS all-time leading goalscorer when he retired in 2010. In 2009 he was the first MLS player to reach 100 goals and 100 assists.
Moreno scored 133 goals in 340 MLS appearances. He represented Bolivia in five Copa America tournaments and the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He also won four MLS Cups and four Supporters' Shields. Moreno is also a five-time MLS Best XI.
3. Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham is a former American player who played as a forward. He is a two-time MLS Golden Boot winner and a three-time MLS Best XI. In 2010 Cunningham won the MLS Western Conference Championship with FC Dallas.
Cunningham has 134 goals in 365 MLS appearances. He won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002 and the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2004 with the Columbus Crew. He played only 14 games for the United States national team and scored one goal for his country.
2. Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan is a former American player who holds multiple MLS and United States national team records. He is regarded as one of the best United States men's soccer players of all time and has the numbers to back up that claim.
Donovan has 146 goals in 340 MLS games. He has the record for most MLS Cups with six and he is also the leagues all-time leader in assists. He also has four CONCACAF Gold Cups and two Supporters' Shields with LA Galaxy. He was awarded the MLS Greatest Player of All Time award.
1. Chris Wondolowski
Chris Wondolowski is an active player for the San Jose Earthquakes and the all-time MLS top goalscorer. He is the only player in the league's history to have scored ten or more goals in ten consecutive seasons and has the record for most MLS game winning goals.
"Wondo" has 164 goals in 378 MLS appearances. He won two MLS Cups with Houston Dynamo and two Supporters' Shields with the San Jose Earthquakes. Wondo is a two-time MLS Golden Boot and a three-time MLS Best XI. He takes our number one spot and he is only going to keep racking up more goals!