Golden Boot

Premier League Golden Boot race

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Will England have a new name on an illustrious list when the Premier League Golden Boot race is run next month?

Every winner since the 2014-15 season is still within a rich vein of form from renewed acquaintances. with the honor, but six of the league’s top ten scorers would be first time top dogs on the PL season goals list.

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That includes the leader, Jamie Vardy. The next three names on the list are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, and Sergio Aguero, and they all have a Golden Boot in their lockers.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (19)

As Vardy goes, so do the Foxes. He scored at least one goal in every match of Leicester’s eight-match winning streak this fall but his brace against Villa on March 9 was his lone appearance on the dance card since the calendar turned to 2020. Four of Vardy’s goals have been penalties, so he’s got that going for him if the VAR is kind to Leicester.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (17)

Aubameyang isn’t having his best year, no doubt down to some inconsistency from his playing partners. Arsenal still faces three of four PL clubs to have conceded 50 or more goals this season.

Mohammed Salah, Liverpool, and Sergio Aguero, Man City (16)

Aguero has won this award before and he’s among the favorites to do it again given he’s three goals from the top despite playing at least 800 fewer minutes then the men level or ahead of him.

Throw in the fact that City’s 76 expected goals are 14 higher than the field and you’ve got the recipe for something special. Aguero and teammate Gabriel Jesus are the runaway leaders for xG/90 amongst qualified players.

Salah’s been very good since the start of December, scoring 10 of his goals and adding three assists in that span. He’s the league leader in expected goals (15.54) just ahead of snakebit teammate Roberto Firmino (15.49 xG, 8 goals).

Danny Ings, Southampton (15)

Like Vardy, it would be silly to rule out the clear target man for a Premier League club. Ings has only scored once in his last seven as Saints hit a rough patch before the coronavirus pause, but maybe time’s healed his form.

Marcus Rashford, Man Utd, and Sadio Mane, Liverpool (14)

Rashford has been a monster when healthy and trails only Aguero and Jesus in xG per game. He’s also United’s penalty taker so there’s that.

Mane’s a powerful force but he’s also in the business of sharing goals at Liverpool. It’s difficult to project him winning the Premier League Golden Boot race.

The field (13 or fewer)

13 goals
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
Raul Jimenez, Wolves
Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

12 goals
Raheem Sterling, Man City

11 goals
Anthony Martial, Man Utd
Chris Wood, Burnley
Harry Kane, Spurs
Teemu Pukki, Norwich City

10. goals
Gabriel Jesus, Man City
Richarlison, Everton

Kane nabs second Golden Boot; Top 15 goal scorers

Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
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Harry Kane scored his 27th, 28th, and 29th goals of the Premier League season to win his second Golden Boot in fine fashion.

That gives Kane seven goals in the last four days. Let that sink in.

Romelu Lukaku of Everton finished second, adding his 25th goal of the season on a penalty against Arsenal.

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Joshua King‘s 16 goals make him the only player from a non-European qualifier in the Top Nine. The Bournemouth man scored one more goal than Christian Benteke, Jermain Defoe, and Fernando Llorente, who tied for 10th.

Golden Boot Top 15
1. Kane, 29
2. Lukaku, 25
3. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), 24
T-4. Sergio Aguero (Man City) and Diego Costa (Chelsea), 20
6. Dele Alli (Spurs), 18
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), 17
T-8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and King, 16
T-10. Benteke, Defoe, and Llorente, 15
13. Heung-Min Son (Spurs), 14
T-14. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), 13.

Three award-sized questions as MLS heads down the stretch

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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Watching Giovani Dos Santos run a clinic for the LA Galaxy on Sunday, I was struck by the thought, “Wow, this guy is on MVP level if not for Sebastian Giovinco”.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted a second award, because it’s just that unfair. There have been so many strong performances in Major League Soccer this year, the sort of seasons that make you realize what this league could look like once owners are allowed to spend what they please.

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Here’s the thing, though: With Giovinco out for approximately a month, you have to think that the door just might be open for Dos Santos if the Mexican star is going to keep doing what he did this week (2 goals, 1 assist on Weds., 2 goals, 2 assists on Sunday).

And he’s feeling quite good, from

“I feel like I am in the best moment of my career,” dos Santos said. “I’ve never felt this way. I feel very good, my finishing is good. The team is doing good. So I feel great right now.”

But can he lift MVP from Giovinco? That’s just one question we have as the season continues its home stretch.

1) Who will win the Golden Boot?

Dos Santos’ four-goal week pulls him into a three-way tie for fourth in the race for the Golden Boot.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Bradley Wright-Phillips has 18 goals and David Villa has 17 goals a piece, one ahead of the injured Giovinco. Dos Santos, Fanendo Adi, and Ignacio Piatti have 14, while Cyle Larin and Dom Dwyer have 13.

Larin and Piatti have one more game remaining than the others.

Dallas hasn’t kept a clean sheet in five tries, and Dos Santos faces them twice still, as well as a date with Houston (six goals in last two, no clean sheet since July 23).

Once BWP gets past stingy Toronto next week, the Red Bulls striker gets Montreal twice, as well as Columbus and Philly. Piatti also has a favorable schedule. Adi’s… not so much thanks to two matches versus Tim Howard and the Rapids.

BWP – Tor, Mtl, Phi, Crew, Mtl
Villa – Dal, Chi, Hou, DC, Crew
GDS – KC, Sea, Dal, Hou, Dal
Adi – Phi, Hou, Col, Col, Van
Piatti – NE, RBNY, SJ, Orl, Tor, NE
Larin – Crew, DC, Tor, Mtl, Phi, DC
Dwyer – LA, SJ, NE, RSL, SJ

If you asked us to bet, and Giovinco doesn’t come back early, we’d guess:

  1. Villa
  2. BWP
  3. Dos Santos

2) Who has a legit shout at the Landon Donovan MVP Award?

Besides Donovan? We kid.

The vote has always been favorable to goal scorers, and Giovinco deserves to still lead the race unless the aforementioned GDS explosion keeps firing into October.

Outside of the names mentioned in the Golden Boot section of this post, we’ll toss in two more: Sacha Kljestan and Osvaldo Alonso.

The first is fairly obvious: Kljestan’s 15 assists and five goals scream out, but watching RBNY shows just how important he is to the attack.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

But the 30-year-old Alonso has no logical thought of winning the award, but has been a complete marvel for the underperforming Sounders. His one goal and 4 assists don’t show his import in possession/build-up and defense.

Kaka and Frank Lampard have also been game changers, but will end the season having played in around half their teams’ matches.

Right now it’s still Giovinco’s award, but GDS has a strong chance. Villa probably should be evaluated as well, but the presence of Lampard and Andrea Pirlo could detract from his “value” vote. And who knows what we’d be talking about if Lampard had played the whole season (12 goals in 17 games)?

3) How about Coach of the Year?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The turnarounds at Colorado, Real Salt Lake and Philadelphia lend to the causes of Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Cassar, and Jim Curtin, but we have to think it’ll be headed back to New York.

While Jesse Marsch has done exceptional for the Red Bulls, no coach has even won back-to-back honors.

And Patrick Vieira, even with the riches of talent bestowed on him, has done incredibly well despite a postage stamp sized pitch and the fact that this is his first rodeo as a senior manager.

Then again this could come down to whether New York finishes blue or red, or a nod to the trio of above-mentioned coaches who’ve engineered better than expected seasons. Still, we’re guessing on Vieira.

Top goalscorer in the 2014 World Cup – Four long shot futures that pay

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Haters of betting on futures in soccer, and in particular, top goalscorer, complain that the chances of winning are so far fetched that it’s not worth it.

Valid point. It’s really, really difficult to peg the player who will score the most.

But that doesn’t change the fact that playing futures is a fairly cheap, high-stakes, wildly exciting way to begin a major soccer tournament.

Foreseeing the favorites to take home the Golden Boot in this World Cup isn’t difficult: Lionel Messi (7-1), Neymar (10-1), Cristiano Ronaldo (14-1) and Sergio Aguero (14-1). Each one of these players is a solid bet because, simply enough, they’re world class players who play on world class teams. So if you’re partial to one then snap him up.

Unfortunately, the favorites rarely win the Golden Boot because being a great player on a great team simply doesn’t cover it. The player has to be healthy. He has to be surrounded by other players who can get him the ball. A favorable draw doesn’t hurt either.

Truth is there are a million factors that determine who nets the most goals in a World Cup. So many, in fact, that it tends to be the long shots that win.

Which is where you come in. Why not throw $10 down on a player to have the tournament of his life? If you hit it right the return could be oh so sweet. Below are four players with long shot odds that I like to have big performances in this World Cup. I encourage you to take a chance on one of them and enjoy the ride.

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Lukaku is coming off a highly encouraging season on loan at Everton (from Chelsea) where he bagged 15 goals and 8 assists in 38 appearances. His form put the striker on the radar of every major club in Europe and from all indications, Lukaku appears intent on proving Blues manager Jose Mourinho wrong for turning his back on him. For Belgium, Lukaku will serve as their primary striker and goalscorer after Christian Benteke succumbed to an achilles injury. Factor in a potentially easy group with Russia, Algeria and South Korea, as well as consistent service from wingers Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, and Lukaku could have 6+ goals before his side are even out of the group stage.

A $10 bet returns $220.

Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
Odds: 66-1

Quick, tricky and devastating in front of goal, Alexis Sanchez plays some of his best soccer with the national team. With his club Barcelona he’s not too bad, either, grabbing 19 goals and 12 assists in 34 appearances last year. The right winger will be the focal point of Chile’s slick-passing attack and like Lukaku, Sanchez is eager to prove to potential club suitors that he’s a goal scorer of the highest quality. His bust out could come early in the tournament as Chile take on Australia this Friday.

A $10 bet returns $660.

Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Odds: 66-1

The player I’m telling anyone who will listen to put money on to win the Golden Boot is Edin Dzeko. The Manchester City striker was magic for the Citizens this past spring, scoring five goals in three matches to help his side to the Premier League title. A master poacher, Dzeko catches fire and is impossible to stop. For Boznia & Herzegovina look for him to do nearly all of his side’s scoring, which could be a lot considering Iran and Nigeria are in their group.

A $10 bet returns $660.

Daniel Sturridge (England)
Odds: 80-1

Hard to say why Sturridge is 80-1 odds to win the Golden Boot. This past season at Liverpool the striker was sublime, scoring 22 times in 29 matches, second only to fellow teammate Luis Suarez. Sturridge is slated to start for Roy Hodgson’s side with Wayne Rooney set to play the role of Suarez. With Uruguay and Italy it’s a tough group but don’t be surprised if Sturridge knicks a goal in each of those matches before capping his group performance with a hat-trick against Costa Rica.

A $10 bet returns $800.