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MLS: Top scorer contenders

The new MLS season begins on Saturday with the likes of Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union hoping to compete for the outright title, while there are also some eye-catching names among the contenders to be crowned top goalscorer.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, now starring for LA Galaxy, is one of this year's MLS Golden Boot hopefuls, as is last season's top scorer, Nashville forward Hany Mukhtar, and former Celtic forward Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has recently joined Atlanta United.

WhatMLS 2023 season
WhereUSA and Canada
When25th February-21st October 2023
How to watchApple TV
OddsMLS Outright 2023: Los Angeles FC 9/2, Philadelphia Union 7/1, New York City FC 8/1, New York Red Bulls 12/1

Can Mukhtar win Golden Boot again?

It's no real surprise to see German ace Mukhtar heading the Top Goalscorer market in the MLS Outrights at 9/1 after his impressive 23 goals from 33 games saw him win the prize last season.

The 27-year-old was a very promising youth player in his homeland and he's been capped by Germany from Under-15 to Under-21 level, although he's never represented his country on the senior international stage.

After failing to properly make the grade at Hertha Berlin and then Benfica initially in Europe, he began to catch the eye in Norway for Brondby, where he netted 24 goals, and since making the move to 

MLS in 2020, he has racked up 43 league goals in just 73 games for Nashville.

Druissi a dangerman up front for Austin

Behind Mukhtar in the market is Austin's Argentinian ace Sebastian Druissi, who is 10/1 to be Top Goalscorer, as he looks to add to his tally of 27 goals accrued across his first two productive seasons with the club.

The former River Plate youngster, who was capped by Argentina Under 20s, was bought by Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in 2017 for 15million euros and he went on to make a fairly big impact there, scoring 21 league goals in 95 appearances.

Last season for Austin, who finished second in the Western Conference before eventually losing out to 2022 MLS Cup winners LA FC in the Conference Finals, he struck 22 goals to just miss out to Mukhtar in the Golden Boot reckoning and he will be aiming to make up for that disappointment this time around.

Former Celtic man Giakoumakis will be after goals

Another contender is Atlanta United new-boy Giorgos Giakoumakis, who joined the Eastern Conference side earlier this month after a two-year spell with Celtic in Scotland.

A full Greek international, he has two goals for his country from 11 appearances, and Giakoumakis is rated a 12/1 shot in the Top Goalscorer market and certainly has the pedigree to take MLS by storm.

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The 28-year-old scored an eye-catching 21 Eredivisie goals in just 26 games for Dutch side VVV-Venlo before Celtic swooped for him and he is likely to thrive in the USA and Canadian soccer environment.

Can Chicarito continue to shine?

Javier Hernandez, or 'Chicharito' as he is affectionately known, remains one of the most instantly-recognisable names to ply his trade in MLS and, even though the diminutive forward is now 34, he is still prolific in front of goal for LA Galaxy.

This is a player who has scored 53 Premier League goals for Manchester United and West Ham in his time, while he registered seven goals on loan in La Liga for European heavyweights Real Madrid in the 2014/15 season.

He also grabbed 28 Bundesliga goals for Bayer Leverkusen previously and it's easy to see why the experienced frontman is only 12/1 to win the MLS Golden Boot in 2023.

Chicarito struck 18 for Galaxy last season to follow on from the 17 he managed in the 2021 MLS campaign and he is more than capable of dominating defences in the US.

Martinez out to mesmerise in Miami

Josef Martinez has been traded to Inter Miami in the off-season and he will hope to enjoy a good season in front of goal now for David Beckham's franchise.

Martinez won the MLS Golden Boot in 2018 for Atlanta when he hit 31 goals so he's 'been-there-done-it' in this division. After a somewhat underwhelming 2022 season for Atlanta, when he only managed nine MLS goals, he will be after a new lease of life at Miami and is available at 14/1 to be Top Goalscorer.

Also in the market list are the likes of former Arsenal youngster Carlos Vela, who is 14/1, and holds the record for the most MLS goals in a single campaign when he hit 34 in 2019 for current club LA FC, and Italian star Lorenzo Insigne (16/1), who now plays for Toronto.

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