We’re charging into the end of the Major League Soccer season, and the race for the top goal scorer in MLS is heating up.
With two game days left until the playoffs start, we’ll all have our eyes peeled on a couple of candidates who have dazzled Major League Soccer fans and their club’s supporters all season long.
Hany Mukhtar and Nashville SC
Major League Soccer has only been in Nashville for 3 years, but Nashville Soccer Club has made some incredible jumps for such a young franchise.
The city of Nashville has shown its support for the team through the construction of a beautiful soccer-specific stadium at the Nashville Fairgrounds. It’s the biggest soccer-specific stadium in the United States.
With the team starting in 2020, it’s been a rocky start to the franchise because of the COVID pandemic, but things are looking up. The team has been driven by the exceptional play of Hany Mukhtar, German international and current leading goal scorer of the MLS.
Mukhtar has 23 goals and 11 assists, with one game remaining v LAFC. LAFC has clinched the Supporters Shield, so I would not anticipate that they’ll be fielding their best side this day. Because of this, I’d consider leaning towards Nashville, and that Mukhtar will score. Nashville SC will be incentivized to play for the win since they are still jockeying for playoff seeding.
Sebastian Driussi & Austin FC
Nipping at Mukhtar’s heels in the Golden Boot chase is Argentine international Sebastian Driussi. Driussi joined Austin FC in 2021 and has been the talisman that the newly formed squad needed.
Driussi sits with 21 goals and 7 assists on the season. To overtake Mukhtar, he would need at least a hat trick to catch him. That would be extremely unlikely. Austin’s playoff spot is secure, and their final week match against Colorado does not require urgency.
Driussi had a particularly scorching section of the summer, where he averaged almost a goal per game between July 24 and August 31.
Daniel Gadzag & Philadelphia Union
It’s highly unlikely that Daniel Gadzag will catch either Driussi or Mukhtar. However, he deserves a callout for the exceptional season he has had – 19 goals and 9 assists.
A Hungarian international, Gadzag joined the Union in 2021, but has had a sensational season for the Union, helping the club secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Facing a bottom-dwelling Toronto FC, they’ll rest up before the start of the playoffs next week.
Gadzag has had a few notable highlights in the 2022 season – his first hat trick happened on August 27, 2022, versus the Colorado Rapids. That was the 2nd game in a five-game scoring streak for Gadzag.
Look for the Union to be a potential favorite to go to the Audi MLS Cup from the Eastern Conference.