Major League Soccer: Ranking the Most Dangerous 11 Strikers in the League

Craig Hutchinson@@CragHutchinsonContributor IIIApril 19, 2011

Major League Soccer: Ranking the Most Dangerous 11 Strikers in the League

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    SANTA CLARA, CA - MARCH 19: Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes takes a shot on goal during their game against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 19, 2011 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Since its inaugural season in 1996, Major League Soccer has been blessed with a lot of outstanding strikers throughout its history.

    As the league enters its 16th season, there is no shortage of offensive firepower across the league with a mixture of established veterans and exciting newcomers.

    By examining proven and potential performance, we have ranked the most dangerous XI of strikers in Major League Soccer today.

    But who made the cut? Who was unlucky to miss out on the list? Who is No. 1?

    Read on to find out...

11. Omar Cummings: Colorado Rapids

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - MARCH 19: Omar Cummings #14 of the Colorado Rapids reacts to his goal against the Portland Timbers on March 19, 2011 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.  (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
    Bart Young/Getty Images

    A veteran of almost 100 games in Major League Soccer, the Jamaican striker has forged the most dangerous strike force in the league with Conor Casey over the last two season, scoring a combined 51 goals.

    2009 saw Cummings named the Colorado player of the season, but it was the 2010 was the season where Omar really pushed himself into the leagues elite with 14 goals in 29 games.

    At 28, Cummings should be entering the peak of his career where he will be looking to continue his development and establish himself as one of the danger men of the league.

10. Juan Pablo Angel: LA Galaxy

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    CARSON, CA - APRIL 02:  Juan Pablo Angel #9 of the Los Angeles Galaxy controls the ball  against the Philadelphia Union during the match at The Home Depot Center on April 2, 2011 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    The all-time scorer for the New York Red Bulls enjoyed hitting the back of the net 62 times in 113 games before moving onto the LA Galaxy for the 2011 season.

    At 35 years of age, Angel is now entering the latter stages of his career, yet his experience and predatory goalscoring ability still sees him as one of the most dangerous marksmen in the league.

9. Fredy Montero: Seattle Sounders

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 28:  Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC runs past goalkeeper Sean Johnson #25 after scoring the second goal against the Chicago Fire on August 28, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Image
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Montero exploded onto the scene in MLS by grabbing two goals on his debut and going on to win the leagues Newcomer of the Year award.

    His form can be scintillating at times and Fredy possesses the ability to score spectacular as well as simple goals.

    Since originally joining the team on loan, he has been rewarded for his talents by being signed as a Designated Player.

    His biggest criticism is his lack of consistency as his form has peaks and valleys, yet with the goalscoring ability he has shown and at the young age of 23, Montero may establish himself as one of the best goalscorers the league has seen.

8. Eric Hassli: Vancouver Whitecaps

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 19:  Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC celebrates a goal during their MLS game against Toronto FC on March 19, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC won 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Ge
    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    It's still early days for the Frenchman in Major League Soccer, but the early prognosis is good. Very good.

    New franchise Vancouver signed Hassli as it's first Designated Player after he had already tallied over 50 goals in Switzerland and France at that stage of his career.

    After two goals on his debut in Vancouver's inaugural game, he has already amassed three goals in four appearances.

    The league is already taking notice of the 6'4" front man, and there is no ceiling on what we could see.

7. Alvaro Saborio: Real Salt Lake

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    SANDY, UT - SEPTEMBER 16: Alvaro Saborio #15 of Real Salt Lake of heads the ball as Marvin Chavez #18 and Daniel Hernandez #2 FC Dallas looks on during the second half of an MLS soccer game September 16, 2010 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt
    George Frey/Getty Images

    Saborío enjoyed an outstanding first season in Major League Soccer when he joined Real Salt Lake on loan for the 2010 season.

    Salt Lake ended the season leading the league in total goals with Alvaro netting a team high 12 of them.

    The team also enjoyed extending its league record of consecutive home game without a loss while becoming the first MLS club to make it to the CONCACAF Champions League Final.

    Saborío was rewarded for his outstanding debut season by being named the clubs first Designated Player for the 2011 season, where he will look to continue his reputation as an elite goalscorer in the league.

6. Carlos Ruiz: Philadelphia Union

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    CARSON, CA - APRIL 02:  Carlos Ruiz #20 of the Philadelphia Union defends against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the Philadelphia Union v Los Angeles Galaxy Match at The Home Depot Center on April 2, 2011 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Gett
    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    The Guatemalan striker has scored goals in every league he has played in, but it is Major League Soccer where he has really excelled, scoring 84 goals among the four franchises he has represented.

    Those 84 goals see Carlos currently sat ninth in the league's all time goal scoring list.

    At just 31 years of age and at his new club, Philadelphia, there is no reason why Ruiz can't continue to climb the all time list and cement himself as one of the greatest goalscorers in league history.

5. Thierry Henry: New York Red Bulls

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    HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 16:  Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls heads the ball into the net past goalkeeper Jon Busch #18 of the San Jose Earthquakes for a second half goal during the game at Red Bull Arena on April 16, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.
    Andy Marlin/Getty Images

    Let's be honest here, Thierry has come nowhere near to replicating the form he has shown throughout his career in MLS so far.

    The former World Cup winner arrived to a fanfare of expectations when he joined the Red Bulls midway through the 2010 season, yet a series of niggling injuries brought on by his lack of preseason conditioning program, meant we only saw glimpses of what the Frenchman can produce.

    The 2011 season has had it ups and downs already.

    Against Philadelphia two weeks ago, Henry was terrible and brought on a lot of negativity from the club's fans.

    Last week against San Jose, Henry looked outstanding, tormenting the Earthquakes defense throughout the match and scoring late in the day with a header (which was a rarity for Thierry even in his best form).

    Has Henry lived up to his reputation so far in MLS?

    No.

    Does he still posses the talent and ability to regain his goalscoring magic of old?

    We shall see, but there is not a single defense in the league that will be taking TH14 lightly.

4. Conor Casey: Colorado Rapids

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - MARCH 19:  Conor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids puts a shot on goal against the Portland Timbers at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on March 19, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids defeated the Timbers 3-1.  (Photo by Michael Martin
    Michael Martin/Getty Images

    Entering his fifth season in Major League Soccer, Conor was originally assigned to Toronto before moving to his hometown club of Colorado.

    Since then, the strong target man has gone on to become the top scorer in Rapids history with a current tally of 42 league goals in 90 games.

    Still, at just 29 years of age, the US international is still banging in the goals in MLS and remains as dangerous as ever.

3. Charlie Davies: DC United

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09:  Charlie Davies #9 of the D.C. United celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half at RFK Stadium on April 9, 2011 in Washington, DC. The game ended in a 1-1  draw.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Following the deadly car crash in October 2009 which saw one passenger dead and Davies with a multitude of horrific injuries, many wondered whether the Sochaux striker would ever be able to live a normal life again, never mind return to the soccer pitch.

    Several months later, Charlie was back in training and in an attempt to show he could still play, made a loan move to DC United in Major League Soccer.

    Does Davies still retain his dangerous goalscoring touch?

    It's early days but two goals on his DC debut after coming on the bench and a current tally of five goals in four games sees him top the MLS scoring charts and suggest he as dangerous as ever.

2. Jeff Cunningham: Columbus Crew

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    COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 16:  Jeff Cunningham #33 of the Columbus Crew controls the ball against Sporting Kansas City on April 16, 2011 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    For the 2011 season, Jeff Cunningham has returned to the club where he began his career in 1998, the Columbus Crew.

    During his 14 years in the league he as amassed 132 league goals for the five MLS franchises he has represented.

    Those 132 goals sees the Jamaican-born soccer player second on the all time league goalscoring chart, just a solitary goal behind Jaime Morino.

    At 34 years old, Cunningham may be coming into the twilight of his career, yet his quest to become the all-time league scorer and his outstanding pedigree throughout his career still see Cunningham as one of the most dangerous in the league.

1. Chris Wondolowski: San Jose Earthquakes

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    SANTA CLARA, CA - APRIL 2: Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes dribbles the ball up field against the Seattle Sounders FC during an MLS soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    After being crowned the MLS leading scorer award for the 2010 season, it's difficult to go with anybody else at the top of this chart right now.

    Wondolowski had being going through a mediocre career prior to 2010, scoring just seven goals during five seasons with San Jose and Houston.

    With 2010 being such a breakout season for the 28-year-old, the big question is whether that season was an anomaly or the sign of things to come?

    Two goals already in 2011 sees Wondo off to the kind of start that would lead towards the latter and confirm him as the most dangerous goalscorer in the league right now.