Saborio among best MLS strikers, despite Wondolowski hegemony

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Randal Serr takes on Alvaro Saborio's goalscoring abilities and value to the team: Should he be in the discussion for MLS Best Forward? Read on.

There is a lot of speculation about whether or not Chris Wondolowski will break the MLS single season scoring record this year. He is a magnificent forward in this league, no doubt. But I would argue, and I will argue, that Alvaro Saborio is just as good if not better at putting the ball in the net. At the very least, Saborio should be in the same discussion of "Best Forward in MLS." Here's why:

With some help from a few friends (@realsaltlake, @mrurson, Wikipedia, mlssoccer.com, and a calculator) I have some data to back up my argument that Saborio might be the best forward in MLS. Since 2010, Saborio has 40 goals in MLS play (not counting playoffs), 11 goals in CONCACAF Champions league play, and another handful for Costa Rica.

Wondolowski has 60 goals in MLS play in the same time period (again, no playoffs.) In this fairly straight-forward category, I would give the edge to Wondolowski.

Next category: Shots on goal percentage. Looking at 2012, Saborio has a 48.8 S.O.G.% while Wondo has a 43.6 S.O.G.%. That is an indication that Saborio's shots are more dangerous, therefore, Sabo has the edge.

Now for goals per shot. This season Saborio nets a goal once every 4.7 shots while Wondo scores a goal once per 4.68 shots. This one comes out even since a .02 differential is pretty much negligible.

In fairness to Wondo, he does have more assists this season and has been a huge part of taking San Jose to another level. That said, Wondolowski has not been involved in CCL play over the past few years, and therefore, has no goals in CCL play.

Saborio has been involved in much more international play with Costa Rica and CCL play, which speaks to his winning ability and ability to thrive on the big stage, but also to the toll that travel takes on one's body, which probably affects his MLS play. You could argue that Sabo has made more important goals in more meaningful games, but Wondo has had more goals in MLS play, to be sure.

There are many more stats that one could parse to try to back up their argument for which striker is better and I have only covered a few here. However, a strong argument could be made that Alvaro Saborio is one of the best if not the best strikers in MLS.

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