Tuesday, March 28, 2006

MLS: Top 25 Goalscorers History - 2002

2002 was the first year after contraction, and the talent dispersal led to three years of incredible parity. We're back to 12 teams now, which I believe will be the end of that. But in 2002, everyone was tightly bunched except for the Galaxy, who were obviously the top team going into the playoffs and won the title.

With two fewer teams and a reduced schedule of 28 games, it's no surprise that there wasn't a whole lot of movement on the chart as fewer goals were scored than before. And also, a number of the league's early goalscorers had retired or left by this point. Still, the goals per game average was over 3.0 for the last time, as Carlos Ruiz and Taylor Twellman took MLS by storm.

1) Roy Lassiter, KC/DC - 88
2) Raul Diaz Arce - 82

3) Jason Kreis, DAL - 79

Made a big jump with 13 goals, and finally somebody is within striking distance of the top two.

4) Jaime Moreno, DC - 69

The first of two disappointing seasons for the Bolivian before his renaissance in 2004.

5) Preki, KC - 65

6) Ronald Cerritos, DAL - 59

Traded to the Burn, and he hasn't really been at the same level since.

7) Ante Razov, CHI - 59

Breaks into the top ten for the first time, where he's resided ever since.

8) Cobi Jones, LA - 57

9) Diego Serna, MET/NE - 54

Funny that Serna and Diallo were so highly regarded before contraction, and neither could recreate that success from 2002 on. At least Diallo still looked pretty good at times with the Metros.

10) Paul Bravo - 52
10) Dante Washington, CLB - 52
12) Giovanni Savarese - 51
13) Brian McBride, CLB - 50

14) Jeff Cunningham, CLB - 48

Kind of forgotten with Ruiz and Twellman putting up big years; he finished as the third highest scorer in 2002 with 16 goals.

14) Wolde Harris, NE - 48
16) Mamadou Diallo, NE/MET - 47
16) Eduardo Hurtado - 47

18) Ariel Graziani, SJ - 44

Now this guy could play. Jumped onto the top 25 after four years in MLS; he would go back to Ecuador after 2002. Which was a shame, because he had a lot of talent and couldn't have been that expensive.

18) Stern John - 44
20) Welton - 43

21) Mark Chung, COL - 40

Another great season overshadowed by Ruiz and Twellman. Along with those two, he was the third nominee for MVP. He really gave his career a boost going to the Rapids in 2002.

22) Clint Mathis, MET - 39
22) Steve Ralston, NE - 39

24) Chris Henderson, COL - 38

The third man to jump onto this list in 2002, along with Graziani and Chung.

25) Joe-Max Moore - 37

Falling off the list

Eric Wynalda (21, tie)
Mauricio Cienfuegos (23)
Mo Johnston (25)

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