Split image: David Villa (New York City FC) and Nikolic Nemanja (Chicago Fire)

With just two weeks left in the 2017 MLS regular season, the race for the Golden Boot is coming down to the wire. With that in mind, here's full breakdown of the potential winners.




1. Nemanja Nikolic (21 goals)

Handicapping the 2017 Golden Boot race with just two weekends remaining - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/nikolic.png

Based on his goal-scoring record at Toyota Park (16 of 21 goals scored there), Nikolic's best chance at securing the Golden Boot will likely come in Week 32 at home against Philadelphia. But the Union and Dynamo (especially at home) haven't exactly been pushovers with fairly solid defensive showings in 2017.


Remaining Matches: 10/15 vs. PHI; 10/22 @ HOU


Home/road split: 16 goals at Toyota Park / 5 goals on road


vs. PHI (career / 2017): Nikolic did not score in his only match vs. PHI on Sept. 23 (2 total shots, 1 on target)


PHI defensive record: 43 goals allowed (tied for 7th-best defense in MLS); 23 goals allowed in 16 road matches


vs. HOU (career / 2017): No previous appearances vs. HOU


HOU defensive record: 44 goals allowed (9th-best defense in MLS); 16 goals allowed in 15 home matches




2. Diego Valeri (20 goals)

Handicapping the 2017 Golden Boot race with just two weekends remaining - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/DiegoValeri%20goal%20celebration-POR-ORL-9.24.17.jpg?NfYiNGaFk0mTvfNMlQLq34t68VOYO1Fj

Valeri scored in nine straight matches before going goalless in his last match against San Jose. Unlike his competitors, Valeri will get to play his last two games at home where he has scored 12 of his 20 goals.


Remaining Matches: 10/15 vs. DC; 10/22 vs. VAN


Home/road split: 12 goals at Providence Park / 8 goals on road


vs. DC (career / 2017): Valeri has not scored in two career games vs. DC (Has not played DC in 2017)


DC defensive record: 54 goals allowed (tied for 5th-worst defense in MLS); 36 goals allowed in 16 road matches


vs. VAN (career / 2017): 4 goals scored in 13 games played (0 goals in 2 games played)


VAN defensive record: 46 goals allowed (tied for 10th-best defense in MLS); 27 goals allowed in 16 road matches




T-2. David Villa (20 goals)

Handicapping the 2017 Golden Boot race with just two weekends remaining - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/villa3(formatted).jpg?xNwPq8B08yghaFXKo7lsSMek0.RoTt5h

Villa scored his first goal in over a month when he was able to get the equalizer against Chicago on Sept. 30. Seeing the Revolution on the schedule looks like a tasty matchup for the Spanish legend but New England's defense has been markedly better at home than they have been on the road.


Remaining Matches: 10/15 at NE; 10/22 vs. CLB


Home/road split: 13 goals at Yankee Stadium / 7 goals on road


vs. NE (career / 2017): 3 goals scored in 8 games played (1 goal in 2 games played)


NE defensive record: 58 goals allowed (3rd-worst defense in MLS); 14 goals allowed in 16 home matches


vs. CLB (career / 2017): 5 goals scored in 5 games played (Has not played CLB in 2017)


CLB defensive record: 47 goals allowed (12th-best defense in MLS); 30 goals allowed in 16 road matches




4. Josef Martinez (18 goals)

Handicapping the 2017 Golden Boot race with just two weekends remaining - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/ATL_DL_0.jpg?u3mEAQmDJ_PrlluBQb2Lr9DQvQaC.1NK

When he's been on the field, Martinez has been a monster for Atlanta United. That is especially true when he's played at home, which he will get to do against a Toronto FC team that might not be playing for much on Decision Day.


Remaining Matches: 10/15 at NY; 10/22 vs. TOR


Home/road split: 15 goals at home / 3 goals on road


vs. NY (career / 2017): 0 goals scored in 1 games played (6 shots, 1 shot on target)


NY defensive record: 46 goals allowed (tied for 10th-best defense in MLS); 14 goals allowed in 16 home matches


vs. TOR (career / 2017): Has never faced Toronto


TOR defensive record: 35 goals allowed (2nd-best defense in MLS); 20 goals allowed in 16 road matches