Behind every great MLS goalscorer, an assist man to lend a helping hand

This is a companion piece to senior writer Jeff Bradley's long-form feature "Inside the Meticulous, Manic Mind of an MLS Goalscorer.


Behind every good goalscorer in  the history of Major League Soccer, there’s always been someone to lend a helping hand. and the Elias Sports Bureau dug into the stats to find out which players deserve the credit for setting the table for the best goalscorers in MLS history.

It came as no surprise that Steve Ralston – who holds the league record for career assists (135) after a 14-year career with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New England Revolution – leads this group, thanks to his partnership with former Revs striker Taylor Twellman. Ralston logged either a primary or secondary assist on 29 of Twellman’s 101 career goals, meaning that Ralston played a direct part in 28.7 percent of Twellman’s goals.

Here’s a look at the breakdown of which player contributed the most assists to each of the league’s 10 leading scorers of all time.

Goalscorer Goals Assist man Assists Percentage
Taylor Twellman 101 Steve Ralston 29 28.7
Edson Buddle* 93 Landon Donovan 16 17.2
Jaime Moreno 133 Marco Etcheverry 20 15.0
Roy Lassiter 88 Carlos Valderrama 12 13.6
Carlos Ruiz* 88 Cobi Jones 10 11.4
Jason Kreis 108 Oscar Pareja 12 11.1
Ante Razov 114 Peter Nowak 11 9.6
Landon Donovan* 124 David Beckham 9 7.3
Jeff Cunningham 134 David Ferreira 9 6.7
Dwayne De Rosario* 100 Brian Ching 6 6.0

* active players

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