Dwayne De Rosario can breathe easy now. For the first time in his glittering 11-year career, the Golden Boot is his.
|Top MLS Goal Scorers By Season|
|2001||Alex Pineda Chacón||MIA||19|
Dwayne De Rosario|
The veteran attacker, who entered the weekend on top of the scoring charts, did not get on the scoresheet in D.C. United’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, and so he was forced to wait to see if his total of 16 goals would stand.
Several players had a chance to catch him if they lit up the scoreboard four or five times; however, realistically, only one player had a shot: San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski, who had 15 goals entering the weekend. He was attempting to become the first player in MLS history to repeat as Golden Boot winner.
All he needed in the Earthquakes' finale at home against FC Dallas was two goals. And he came about as close as anyone can to doing it.
Wondo struck a penalty in the 34th minute to pull level with DeRo. The first tiebreaker in the Golden Boot race is assists, and the Canadian veteran had a commanding lead in that category, 12-3. So Wondo needed another goal.
First, he hit the crossbar in the 55th minute after FCD goalkeeper Chris Seitz came out bravely. Then he was denied Seitz when all alone in the 71st. And finally he saw an 86th-minute blast punched away, yet again, by Seitz.
It was not to be for Wondo, whose final total of 16 nontheless makes him the third player to have won the Golden Boot and then tie for the lead the following season. The Bay Area native joins former MLS players Stern John (led in 1998 with 26; tied in 1999 with 18) and Carlos Ruiz (led in 2002 with 24; tied in 2003 with 15).
De Rosario's 16 goals this season brings his career total to 93, seventh on the all-time MLS scoring list and just eight behind Taylor Twellman. He is also third among active players, behind only scoring king Jeff Cunningham and Landon Donovan.
This year, DeRo also became the first player in MLS history to score goals for three different teams over the course of a single season. As a member of Toronto FC, De Rosario scored one goal in two games before being traded to New York, where he contributed two goals in 13 games. After joining D.C. United in a trade for Dax McCarty on June 27, he added 13 goals and seven assists in just 18 games.