MLS likely to see 5,000th goal this weekend

an average of 3.10 goals per game. While the two teams have had some trouble finding the back of the net in their first years -- Chivas is 10th in the league with 21 goals scored this year, while Real (which set an MLS-record goalless streak this year) is 11th -- odds are they will add to the list of feats already achieved in their historic expansion campaigns.

Some notables about the (nearly) 5,000 goals scored in league history:

  • Of the 4,532 goals that have been scored in open play, 379 from penalty kicks and 87 have been own goals. A total of 464 players have scored regular-season goals (not including those players credited with scoring own goals).

  • The breakdown of goals scored by U.S.-born players and those born outside the country is nearly 50-50 -- 2,478 scored by those born in the U.S., and 2,433 scored by those born outside the U.S. (including those who qualify as U.S. internationals).

  • Over the course of MLS history, the later games go on, the more likely it is a goal will be scored. Over the 90 minutes of normal time, the numbers of goals scored increased with almost every 15 minute interval: 1-15: 616; 16-30: 693; 31-45+: 845; 46-60: 835; 61-75: 864; 76-90+: 1,098; overtime: 47

  • Amazingly, FC Dallas goalkeeper Scott Garlick has been on the field when the 2,000th, 3,000th and 4,000th goals were scored. He was beaten for goals No. 2,000 and 3,000, while his Colorado Rapids scored goal 4,000. However, it's not likely he'll see goal No. 5,000 -- Chivas and Real would have to play to a scoreless draw, the Kansas City Wizards and New England Revolution would have to go about the opening half-hour without a goal in their game, and FC Dallas and the MetroStars would have be involved in the second goal of the day before the Chicago Fire and D.C. United (kicking off simutaneously on Saturday).

    The previous landmark goals:
    1,000: Sept. 14, 1997 -- Columbus's Thomas Dooley versus Kansas City (Mike Ammann), 82nd minute
    2,000: July 3, 1999 -- Kansas City's Alex Burnbury versus Tampa Bay (Scott Garlick), 16th minute
    3,000: May 9, 2001 -- Los Angeles's Sasha Victorine versus Tampa Bay (Scott Garlick), 3rd minute
    4,000: June 25, 2003 -- Colorado's Mark Chung versus Los Angeles (Kevin Hartman), 12th minute (Garlick in goal for Colorado)

  • In MLS history to this point, D.C. United has scored the most league goals, with 496 in 293 league games. That's three more than the Los Angeles Galaxy, in one fewer game. Of the nine clubs that have played each of the 10 seasons in Major League Soccer, the Colorado Rapids have scored the fewest goals with 409 goals in 294 MLS contests.

    This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.