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3. MLS: Goalscoring dips again
October 19th, 2006 1:49PM

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Goalscoring during the MLS 2006 regular season matched its lowest average in history. The 2006 average of 2.62 was just a whit higher than the league's most anemic season ever - in 2004, when games averaged 2.61 goals.

MLS averaged more than three goals per game in six of its first seven seasons but hasn't hit the 3.0 mark since 2002.

For the second straight season, D.C. United was the league's highest scoring team, notching 52 goals in 32 games for a 1.63 per game strike rate. Last season, D.C. United scored 1.81 goals per game. Columbus produced the fewest goals in the 2006 regular season: 30 in 32 games.
MLS GOALS PER GAME, Regular season
1996 -- 3.37
1997 -- 3.26
1998 -- 3.57
1999 -- 2.86
2000 -- 3.19
2001 -- 3.28
2002 -- 3.01
2003 -- 2.89
2004 -- 2.61
2005 -- 2.87
2006 -- 2.62

Real Salt Lake's Jeff Cunningham was the 2006 season's leading scorer with 16 goals, followed by D.C. United's Christian Gomez and Chivas USA's Ante Razov, who each notched 14. The 2006 season marked the seventh time a player led the league while scoring fewer than 20 goals, a mark last hit in 2002, by Carlos Ruiz.
MLS LEADING SCORERS, Regular season
2006 Jeff Cunningham (Salt Lake) 16 goals
2005 Taylor Twellman (New England) 17
2004 Brian Ching (San Jose), Eddie Johnson (Dallas) 12
2003 Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles), Taylor Twellman (New England) 15
2002 Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles) 24
2001 Alex Pineda Chacon (Miami) 19
2000 Mamadou Diallo (Tampa Bay) 26
1999 Stern John (Columbus), Jason Kreis (Dallas), Roy Lassiter (D.C. United) 18
1998 Stern John (Columbus) 26
1997 Jaime Moreno (D.C. United) 16
1996 Roy Lassiter (Tampa Bay) 27


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