Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cunningham Becomes MLS All-Time Leading Scorer

It probably wasn't under the circumstances that he would have hoped for, but 35 year old Columbus Crew striker Jeff Cunningham became Major League Soccer's All-Time Leading Scorer today with his 134th career goal. In the midst of his 14th MLS season, Cunningham converted a penalty kick against the Seattle Sounders to move ahead of Bolivian Jaime Moreno and into sole possession of first place on the all time scoring list. Unfortunately, the Crew were down 4-0 at the time of the goal and Cunningham's goal did nothing to influence the end result of the match.
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The Jamaican-born Cunningham started his MLS career back in 1998 after being taken by the Crew with the 9th pick in the draft out of the University of South Florida. He was a scorer right from the beginning netting eight goals as a rookie. Since then, he's scored at least 10 goals on seven separate occasions and led the league in scoring twice (in 2006 with Real Salt Lake and 2009 with Dallas). He spent his first 7 seasons in Columbus before bouncing around between teams for the second half of his career. After stops in Colorado, Salt Lake, Toronto and Dallas, he rejoined the Crew this season. While he's served primarily as a substitute, he's now scored a pair of goals this season, the first of which was a game winner in the 90th minute in a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Cunningham is one of just 6 players in MLS history to score at least 100 goals. The others are Jaime Moreno (133), Ante Razov (114), Landon Donovan (114), Jason Kreis (108), and Taylor Twellman (101).

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