Major League Soccer's appeal is growing across the world, and with it a growing fan base of eagle eyed viewers like ourselves want to delve deeper and deeper into the history of the league. The Hype Train has been looking into the facts and statistics behind MLS and have condensed some fleeting observations for all to see ahead of the 2018 season. This might be particularly interesting, if like us, you're trying to build up a base knowledge of the MLS in hopes of creating a Fantasy team that can rule the world. All aboard.
This article is Part II of a stats and facts series about Major League Soccer. In the first part we looked at the MLS from a league point of view, which focused on clubs and overall records. This part will focus on players and managers.
You can read Part I below, and on our MLS page on The Hype Train website by clicking here.
MLS: 30 Facts and Statistics (Players)
Our focus for this list is to highlight many of the active players still playing their trade in Major League Soccer, and we start with a dead-ball specialist who is fresh off a league and MLS Cup double.
1 - Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) has scored 13 goals from free-kicks, the most by any MLS player in history. The first Designated Played, David Beckham, only scored 7 in his time with LA Galaxy.
2 - Landon Donovan is the record goal scorer in MLS, scoring 145 goals from 340 appearances. Donovan scored 113 goals for LA Galaxy, and 32 goals for San Jose Earthquakes.
3 - Chris Wondolowski (San Jose) is the highest scoring active player in the regular MLS season, scoring 134 goals from 293 appearances. Wondolowski has scored 130 of his goals at the Earthquakes, and just 4 at Houston Dynamo over a 4 year stretch.
4 - Chris Wondolowski (San Jose) has scored 10+ goals in each of the last 8 campaigns for the Earthquakes. The 35 year old Forward managed 27 goals in the 2012 season.
5 - Active players with the most goals in MLS are as followed:
1) Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes): 134 goals from 293 appearances
2) Kei Kamara (Vancouver Whitecaps): 98 goals from 286 appearances
3) Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls): 86 goals from 139 appearances
4) Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders): 71 goals from 165 appearances
5) Dominic Oduro (Montreal Impact): 63 goals from 309 appearances
5) David Villa (New York City FC): 63 goals from 96 appearances
6 - Here are the top scorers from the 2017 MLS season:
1) Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire): 24 goals
2) David Villa (New York City FC): 22 goals
3) Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers): 21 goals
4) Josef Martínez (Atlanta United): 19 goals
5) Ola Kamara (Columbus Crew): 18 goals
7 - There were 15 hat-tricks in the 2017 MLS season, scored by 13 players.
8 - Of the 15 hat-tricks in MLS last season, 4 were scored by Atlanta United players, including 3 trebles by Josef Martínez, who was the only player to score more than one hat-trick last season.
9 - Josef Martínez (Atlanta United) won 2 of the 7 Player of the Month awards during the 2017 season, winning the award in March and October, the first and final month of the regular season.
10 - Here are the top assist makers from the 2017 MLS season:
1) Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls): 17 assists
2) Víctor Vázquez (Toronto FC): 16 assists
3) Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution): 15 assists
4) Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United): 14 assists
4) Michael Barrios (FC Dallas): 14 assists
4) Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew): 14 assists
11 - Here are the Goalkeeper's with the most clean sheets from the 2017 MLS season:
1) Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders): 13 clean sheets
2) Alex Bono (Toronto): 10 clean sheets
2) Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City): 10 clean sheets
2) Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls): 10 clean sheets
5) Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union): 9 clean sheets
5) Jesse González (FC Dallas): 9 clean sheets
5) Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew): 9 clean sheets
12 - Here is the MLS Team of the Year for the 2017 season:
GK: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
DEF: Justin Morrow (Toronto)
DEF: Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City)
DEF: Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)
MID: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
MID: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
MID: Victor Vazquez (Toronto)
FOR: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto)
FOR: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United)
FOR: Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)
FOR: David Villa (New York City FC)
13 - Landon Donovan has more assists than any other player in MLS history, with 136 from 340 appearances
14 - Sacha Kljestan (Orlando City) is the only active player in MLS to be in the overall top 10 for assists in the league. Kljestan, who joins Orlando for the 2018 season, contributed the most assists in MLS last season, with 17 to his name.
15 - Active players with the most assists in MLS are as followed:
1) Sacha Kljestan (Orlando City): 84 assists from 211 appearances
2) Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): 56 assists from 172 appearances
3) Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers): 53 assists from 148 appearances
4) Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire): 51 assists from 303 appearances
5) Benny Feilhaber (Los Angeles FC): 50 assists from 202 appearances
16 - In the 2017 MLS season, Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) became the 18th player in league history to have scored 50 goals and assisted 50 times.
17 - Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) scored 21 league goals last season, the most by a midfielder in a single MLS season.
18 - Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) scored in 9 consecutive MLS matches in the 2017 season, a record in the MLS, beating a 7 game scoring spree by Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto) in the 2015 season.
19 - In the 2017 season, Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) became the second player in MLS history to score 20+ goals, and provide 10+ assists, in the regular season, joining Sebastian Giovinco who completed the feat in the 2015 season.
20 - Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) has kept more clean sheets than any other Goalkeeper in MLS history, shutting out opponents 137 times from 305 appearances.
21 - Active Goalkeeper's with the most clean sheets in MLS are as followed:
1) Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): 137 clean sheets from 305 appearances
2) Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders): 59 clean sheets from 213 appearances
3) Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls): 49 clean sheets from 174 appearances
4) Sean Johnson (New York City FC): 43 clean sheets from 208 appearances
5) Bobby Shuttleworth (Minnesota United): 39 clean sheets from 160 appearances
22 - Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) has played every minute of the MLS regular season for 5 consecutive seasons.
23 - Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) has made more appearances in the MLS than any other player, with 452 games played.
24 - Active players with the most appearances in MLS are as followed:
1) Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): 452 appearances
2) Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): 432 appearances
3) Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders): 371 appearances
4) Drew Moor (Toronto FC): 361 appearances
5) Jeff Larentowicz (Atlanta United): 357 appearances
25 - Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers) and David Villa (New York City FC) are currently the only two captains in MLS to be born outside of north or central America.
26 - João Moutinho (Los Angeles FC) was the first-overall selection of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
27 - Joe Bendik (Orlando City) made more saves (118) than any other Goalkeeper in the MLS last season, keeping 7 clean sheets.
28 - David Villa (New York City FC) took more shots (136) than any other player in MLS last season.
29 - David Guzman (Portland Timbers) picked up 11 yellow cards last season, the most by any player in MLS last season.
30 - Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire) hit 59 shots on target last season, more than any other player in MLS
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