MLS scoring rate continues to climb in 2018 season

If it feels like the goals keep coming in MLS in 2018, that's because they do.

We talked about the rate of goals going in at a prodigious pace a few weeks ago, and the pace keeps climbing. It helps when 46 goals were scored in one weekend (watch them all above).

Through eight weeks of the season, as a whole MLS games are averaging 3.22 goals per game, the highest rate over approximately the same amount of games by quite a margin since 2010.

Year Goals/Games Goals per Game
2010 201/79 2.54
2011 176/74 2.38
2012 182/73 2.49
2013 179/77 2.32
2014 219/80 2.74
2015 169/74 2.28
2016 203/74 2.32
2017 221/79 2.80
2018 245/76 3.22

That 3.22 goals per game average is less than the current expected goals average, which is 3.33 through eight weeks of the season (that means the average game would expect to have 3.33 goals based on the quality of scoring chances). So the goals are up, and so is the volume of chances, and if teams can finish a little bit better than they already are, they can move the average goals rate up even higher.

Comparing these numbers for MLS in 2018 to major European leagues, all about to finish their respective seasons, and MLS is maintaining a higher average in both actual goals and expected goals.

League Goals/Game xG/Game
MLS 3.22 3.33
EPL 2.72 2.54
Bundesliga 2.73 2.74
La Liga 2.63 2.67
Serie A 2.63 2.55
Ligue 1 2.68 2.62

The big caveat here is that the European leagues have a larger sample size compared to MLS, but at the moment, if you're looking for goals in general, North America is the place to see them.

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