Lionel Messi leads the way

The 10 most clinical finishers in MLS in 2024: Messi leads the way…

Stars from Inter Miami, Portland Timbers and New England are among the most clinical players in MLS throughout 2024 so far.

Scoring goals is the aim of the game and MLS is home to some elite marksman right now. During this season alone, there have already been over 400 goals scored in MLS and we’re only a few months into the season.

Using stats provided by FBref, we have found the 10 most clinical players in MLS this season, based on their xG overperformance.

=8. Jamal Thiare (+2.0)

Having only taken five shots this season, it’s impressive that Thiare already has three goals to his name. The Atlanta United forward has overperformed his xG by two goals this season which is more than any of his teammates.

=8. Santiago Moreno (+2.0)

Portland Timbers have only won two of their opening 10 matches, but they’ve not had any problems when it comes to hitting the back of the net.

In the Western Conference, only LA Galaxy have scored more goals than Phil Neville’s side so far. Moreno has been among the club’s most clinical players, scoring three goals from an xG of just 1.0.

“Santi has become an influential component of our attack since joining Portland as a young player a few years ago,” Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy said upon Moreno signing a contract extension.

“He has taken necessary steps in his maturation on and off the field, which has been vital for his growth.”

=8. Felipe Mora (+2.0)

Moreno’s Portland Timbers teammate Mora has also been among the goals this season. Impressively, the Chilean forward has bagged four goals from just five shots on target this season.

He’s also managed an xG overperformance of two goals which ranks him among the most clinical players in the league.

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=6. Luis Suarez (+2.2)

Even in his twilight years, Suarez is still knocking them in for fun. The Inter Miami forward has already scored seven goals and has overperformed his xG by 2.2 so far.

With the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba providing the chances for him, it’s no wonder he’s been so prolific in his new surroundings.

Hugo Lloris, Luis Suarez and Mateusz Klich

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=6. Carles Gil (+2.2)

The former Aston Villa attacking midfielder seems to be loving life in MLS right now. Following his switch to New England Revolution in 2019 he’s not looked back since.

During his time in the United States, Gil has produced 92 goal contributions in just 163 matches. With those sorts of stats, it’s no wonder that Gil is among the most clinical players in the league.

He’s already managed to score three goals this season from an xG of just 0.8, giving him an overperformance of 2.2 in total.

5. Celio Pompeu (+2.3)

The Brazilian winger enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with St. Louis City last season and he’s been even better this time around. Having scored three goals from an xG of 0.7, he’s been the fifth most clinical player in the league up until this point.

4. Cristian Arango (+2.4)

Real Salt Lake currently top the Western Conference and it’s largely thanks to the goals of Arango. The Colombian forward has already scored eight goals this season and doesn’t look like slowing down soon.

He’s scored six goals in his last five appearances and the underlying stats prove that he’s one of the deadliest marksmen in the league.

Having played 10 games so far, Arango has managed to score eight goals from an xG of 5.6, giving him an impressive overperformance of 2.4 goals.

3. Lewis Morgan (+2.5)

After missing the vast majority of last season through injury, it’s great to see Morgan back to his best in 2024. The former Celtic winger has been tearing MLS defences to shreds with New York Red Bulls this season.

He’s currently averaging a goal every 110 minutes and has overperformed his xG by 2.5 goals up until this point. Long may his prolific form continue.

=1. Erik Thommy (+2.7)

Having already scored four goals, Thommy is just one strike away from matching his tally from last season and we’re only in April.

While Sporting Kansas City haven’t got off to the best of starts this season, Thommy has been among the top performers in MLS. With an xG overperformance of 2.7 goals, he’s been the joint-most clinical player in the league.

=1. Lionel Messi (+2.7)

Who else? Since moving to the United States, Messi has been making light work of MLS defences. He’s currently averaging a goal contribution every 45 minutes and looks head and shoulders above the competition.

Throughout his illustrations career, the Argentine forward has already won numerous Golden Boot awards and he’s currently on track to win another this season. As of writing, he’s scored nine goals in MLS from an xG of just 6.3.

Every time he steps onto the pitch, he defies logic.

Another week, another MOTM performance from Messi.

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