Believe it or not, the 2013 MLS season has reached its halfway mark. After 17 weeks of matches, teams can now assess where they stand in the table and what they need to accomplish to earn a playoff spot.
Scoring goals is a good place to start. Putting the ball in the back of the net is no easy task, but there are plenty of players knocking them in on a regular basis.
I have ranked five of these players not just by the number of goals they have scored this year, but by their recent form and production.
Ladies and gentlemen, the five hottest goalscorers in MLS.
Will Johnson scored three goals during his most productive season of MLS play prior to joining the Timbers.
The Canadian has doubled that tally in just 17 games this year.
The box-to-box midfielder earned himself the captain's armband upon his arrival to Portland and has certainly led by example.
The Portland Timbers have scored more goals than any other team thus far, and Johnson leads the side in that department. When he isn't busy winning possession back for the Green and White, Johnson finds a way to storm into the attack and find the net in spectacular fashion.
His goal against Colorado on Sunday showed remarkable skill to avoid oncoming defenders and volley home. After the 3-0 victory, Portland now claim top spot in the MLS table, largely thanks to Will Johnson and his newfound penchant for scoring.
The Montreal Impact sit four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference—they can thank their Italian striker for that.
Marco Di Vaio is tied for league lead with 10 goals to his name. The forward has been in fine form all season, consistently providing the offensive spark his team need.
Though he notched just one in his last outing against Houston, Di Vaio threatened the entire game and looked dangerous each time he was on the ball.
His hat-trick against Philadelphia in May summed up his influence in the team with three well-taken finishes.
Di Vaio brings plenty of European experience to MLS, and his recent goal surge has pushed his team to new heights this season.
When Conor Casey is in the mood, he can be a handful to defend.
Though he has just five goals on the season, Casey has scored three in his last two games and appears to be finding his top gear yet again. The striker has only started eight games this season, and his goal return from just 20 shots indicates his efficiency.
Playing against Eastern Conference rivals New York over the weekend, Casey pursued the ball hungrily and finished off two chances to secure an impressive 3-0 victory at home.
Between his first-half header and his second-half cut-back and finish, Casey showed fans that his game is multi-dimensional.
He has long been known for his physicality, but his deft touch before slotting home his second goal reflects his improved skill on the ball.
The Brazilian sensation has been a revelation for the Whitecaps recently.
With five goals in his last three matches, it is easy to see why Camilo Sanvezzo takes the No. 2 spot on this list. His electric pace and athleticism enable the forward to cut in from the wing and find space in the box.
Sanvezzo recently made headlines in a 3-1 victory over Chivas—scoring twice and assisting once to bring home Player of the Week honors.
At 24 years of age, Camilo Sanvezzo appears to be finding a home on the scoresheet, and in MLS.
Who else but Mike Magee?
Since arriving in Chicago, Magee has been on an absolute tear. With six goals in six games across all competitions for the Fire, Magee is without a doubt the hottest goalscorer in MLS.
Deployed out wide or up front, Magee has developed an incredible consistency to his play.
His nose for the net is uncanny—another week, another goal.
The Fire are finally finding some success—unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions. The Galaxy, meanwhile, have won just one in their last five.
Somewhere in Los Angeles, Bruce Arena utters, "I've made a huge mistake."