Major League Soccer (MLS) has witnessed an explosion of talent since its creation in 1996. From homegrown heroes to international stars, its history is filled with exceptional players that have left an indelible mark upon its existence and history. They not only exhibit individual brilliance but have contributed immensely towards its growth and popularity as a league. We delve further into its greatness here by honoring players deemed all-time greats by acknowledging these individuals in this article.
Landon Donovan: The American Icon
Landon Donovan stands as an iconic figure of Major League Soccer (MLS), holding records for six MLS Cup victories and 145 goals scored during his illustrious career. Donovan became beloved national icon, mesmerizing fans with his mesmerizing dribbling skills, pinpoint passing accuracy and knack for scoring clutch goals – something most clubs could only dream about achieving during his lifetime! He spent much of his career between San Jose Earthquakes (1999 – 2004, 2007-08, and LA Galaxy (2005- 2009, 2012- 2014 2016); also having stints at Bayer Leverkusen (2004) Leverkusen 2004- 2005 Everton (2010) Leon (2018)
Carlos Vela: The Mexican Maestro
Carl Vela’s impact in Major League Soccer (MLS) has been truly transformational. With mesmerizing footwork, creative vision and uncanny ability to produce magical moments quickly winning fans over with mesmerizing footwork, creative vision and uncanny ability he earned fan appreciation and respect equally – earning record goal-scoring exploits as one of MLS’s premier strikers – with Los Angeles FC (2018-present).
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Sebastian Giovinco: The Atomic Ant
Sebastian Giovinco made an indelible mark on Major League Soccer with his dynamic attacking prowess despite his diminutive size, impressing defenders with technical brilliance, deft dribbling skills, and an eye for goal that made him one of the league’s premier forwards. Dubbed ‘The Atomic Ant’ for his talent in creating something out of nothing he earned this nickname from opponents before contributing significantly towards Toronto FC winning their maiden MLS Cup victory in 2017. Giovinco played from 2015 – 2019;
David Beckham: The Global Superstar
David Beckham’s 2007 arrival to Major League Soccer (MLS) represented an inflection point, garnering global attention and raising its status. With charisma, leadership skills and undeniable talent on the pitch to inspire an entire new generation of soccer fans throughout America. Beckham played for LA Galaxy from 2007-12.
MLS All-Time Leaders: Quantifying Greatness
Individual achievements and contributions to team success are undoubtedly factors in judging greatness; yet statistical records can also serve as tangible measures of impact. Major League Soccer (MLS) has seen numerous players leave indelible marks on its history by setting records which will endure well into the future.
MLS All-Time Leading Goalscorers:
- Chris Wondolowski (174 goals) – San Jose Earthquakes (2005-2021)
- Landon Donovan (145 goals) – San Jose Earthquakes (1999-2004, 2007-2008), LA Galaxy (2005-2009, 2012-2014, 2016)
- Jaime Moreno (133 goals) – D.C. United (1996-2010)
- Bradley Wright-Phillips (128 goals) – New York Red Bulls (2013-2021)
- Jeff Cunningham (134 goals) – Columbus Crew (1998-2004, 2011), Real Salt Lake (2005-2006, 2013), FC Dallas (2007-2010)
MLS All-Time Leading Assists:
- Landon Donovan (136 assists) – San Jose Earthquakes (1999-2
- Brad Davis (124 assists) – MetroStars/New York Red Bulls (2002-2016), Houston Dynamo (2017-2018)
- Preki (92 assists) – Kansas City Wizards (1996-2002), Seattle Sounders FC (2004-2005)
- Steve Ralston (90 assists) – Dallas Burn (1996-2006), Kansas City Wizards (2006-2010), Real Salt Lake (2011)
- Jaime Moreno (87 assists) – D.C. United (1996-2010)