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Chicago Fire Forward Nemanja Nikoli wins 2017 MLS Golden Boot

October 23, 2017 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

NEW YORK(Sunday, October 22, 2017) - Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikoli claimed the 2017 MLS Golden Boot today with a league-best 24 regular season goals, becoming the first Chicago player to lead the league in goal scoring. Nikoli's tally ranks tied for sixth-most in league history, matching Bradley Wright-Phillips' winning total from last season.

In his first season in MLS, the Hungarian National Team forward set a Fire single-season goal-scoring record, breaking Ante Razov's 18-goal mark set in 2000. This is the third country in which Nikoli has led his respective league in goals scored. Nikoli outlasted reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP David Villa's 22 goals, marking the second consecutive year in which the Spaniard finished as runner-up in the Golden Boot race.

Nikoli helped lead a remarkable Fire turnaround, taking a team that registered the fewest points in MLS last season to a third-place finish in the Supporters' Shield race this year and a spot in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs (55 points, 16-11-7 overall record). Chicago featured a potent offensive attack that ranked third in the league with 61 goals scored, with Nikoli also chipping in four assists.

The 29-year-old was voted to the Fan XI to face Real Madrid in the 2017 MLS All Star Game presented by Target, then capped his season with a strong finish, recording eight goals over his final seven matches. Chicago compiled an impressive 13-1-3 record when Nikoli scored a goal, as the Hungarian led the league with six multi-goal matches.

Major League Soccer Golden Boot/Scoring Champion winners

Season Player Team Goals/Points (G/A) 2017 Nemanja Nikoli Chicago Fire 24 goals 2016 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 24 goals 2015 Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 22 goals 2014 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 27 goals 2013 Camilo Sanvezzo Vancouver Whitecaps FC 22 goals 2012 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 27 goals 2011 Dwayne De Rosario D.C. United 16 goals 2010 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 18 goals 2009 Jeff Cunningham FC Dallas 17 goals 2008 Landon Donovan Los Angeles Galaxy 20 goals 2007 Luciano Emilio D.C. United 20 goals 2006 Jeff Cunningham Real Salt Lake 16 goals 2005 Taylor Twellman New England Revolution 17 goals 2004 Amado Guevara MetroStars 30 (10g, 10a) Pat Noonan New England Revolution 30 (11g, 8a)

(TOP 3: Amado Guevara, MetroStars (10g, 10a = 30 pts); Pat Noonan, New England Revolution (11g, 8a = 30 pts); Brian Ching, San Jose Earthquakes (12g, 4a = 28 pts)

2003 Preki Kansas City Wizards 41 (12g, 17a)

(TOP 3: Preki, Kansas City Wizards (12g, 17a = 41 pts); Carlos Ruiz, L.A. Galaxy (15g, 5a = 35 pts); Ante Razov, Chicago Fire (14g, 6a = 34 pts); Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution (15g, 4a = 34 pts)

2002 Taylor Twellman New England Revolution 52 (23g, 6a)

(TOP 3: Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution (23g, 6a = 52 pts); Carlos Ruiz, Los Angeles Galaxy (24g, 1a = 49 pts); Jeff Cunningham, Columbus Crew (16g, 5a = 37 pts)

2001 Alex Pineda Chacon Miami Fusion 47 (19g, 4a)

(TOP 3: Alex Pineda Chacon, Miami Fusion (19g, 4a = 47 pts); Diego Serna, Miami Fusion, (15g, 15a = 45 pts); John Spencer, Colorado Rapids, (14g, 7a = 35 pts)

2000 Mamadou Diallo Tampa Bay Mutiny 56 (26g, 4a)

(TOP 3: Mamadou Diallo, Tampa Bay Mutiny (26g, 4a = 56 pts); Clint Mathis, Los Angeles/MetroStars, (16g, 14a = 46 pts); Ante Razov, Chicago Fire (18g, 6a = 42 pts); Diego Serna, Miami Fusion, (16g, 10a = 42 pts)

1999 Jason Kreis Dallas Burn 51 (18g, 15a)

(TOP 3: Jason Kreis, Dallas Burn (18g, 15a = 51 pts); Roy Lassiter, D.C. United, (18g, 11a = 47 pts); Ronald Cerritos, San Jose Clash (15g, 9a = 39 pts)

1998 Stern John Columbus Crew 57 (26g, 5a)

(TOP 3: Stern John, Columbus Crew (26g, 5a = 57 pts); Cobi Jones, Los Angeles Galaxy (19g, 13a = 51 pts); Welton, Los Angeles Galaxy (17g, 11a = 45 pts)

1997 Preki Kansas City Wizards 41 (12g, 17a)

(TOP 3: Preki, Kansas City Wizards (12g, 17a = 41 pts); Jaime Moreno, D.C. United, (16g, 8a = 40 pts); Raul Diaz Arce, D.C. United (15g, 6a = 36 pts)

1996 Roy Lassiter Tampa Bay Mutiny 58 (27g, 4a)

(TOP 3: Roy Lassiter, Tampa Bay Mutiny (27g, 4a = 58 pts); Preki, Kansas City Wiz (18g, 13a = 49 pts); Eduardo Hurtado, Los Angeles Galaxy, (21g, 7a = 49 pts)

* up to the 2004 season, the Scoring Champion was determined by total points, with a goal counting two points and assists counting as one. Beginning in 2005, the title was renamed the Golden Boot, and awarded to the leading goalscorer in the season. In case of a tie, the winner will be decided by the player with the most assists; if still tied, the winner will be the player with fewer minutes played.

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