Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin scored his 34th career regular-season goal in Friday’s 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. Bruin is now one goal from equaling Clint Mathis for the most goals in the first four MLS seasons by a player who entered the league as a rookie*. (Note courtesy the Elias Sports Bureau, Official Statistician of Major League Soccer.)
With two more goals this season, Bruin would break Mathis’ mark and set a new benchmark for young players in MLS. Bruin is already in good company in the four-year club, which includes Mathis, Jeff Cunningham, Robbie Findley and Scott Sealy.
*The rookie classification includes players eligible for the Rookie of the Year award in their first season. Rookies have no prior professional experience before entering MLS.
|Player||Goals in first four seasons*||Years||Career MLS goals|
*Includes regular-season goals only
Mathis made 46 appearances for the U.S. national team and scored a memorable opening goal in a 1-1 draw against co-host South Korea at the 2002 World Cup. He scored 61 career MLS goals (including 16 in 2000) and is currently an assistant coach with the Chicago Fire.
Cunningham scored 32 goals in his first four seasons with the Columbus Crew (1998-01). He scored 134 career regular-season goals to set the MLS record in 2011, before it was surpassed by Landon Donovan this season. Cunningham scored eight of more goals in 10 of 14 MLS seasons, with a career-best 17 in 2009.
Findley scored 31 goals in his first four seasons in MLS (2007-10) and set a career-high with 12 in 2009. Findley made three appearances at the 2010 World Cup and is in his second season back with Real Salt Lake after three seasons in England.