Analysis

No time wasted: The hottest career goal-scoring starts in MLS history

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Nemanja Nikolic: 10 goals in 11 games; 2017 season

With two goals against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night, Nikolic became the fastest to 10 goals in Chicago Fire history, surpassing Mike Magee. Scoring is nothing new for the Designated Player. He came to MLS with 112 goals over the past five and half seasons in both Poland and Hungary.

Nikolic has taken his hot start in stride with the media, and what’s more impressive about his run: he had just one goal in the first four games of the year; nine of his 10 goals have come in the last seven games.

Eduardo Hurtado: 10 goals in 11 games; 1996 season

There were plenty of great goal-scorers in the early days of MLS, so much so that despite a torrid start to his MLS career with the LA Galaxy, Hurtado would only finish with the third-most goals in the Golden Boot race with 21, behind both Roy Lassiter (27) and Raul Diaz Arce (23). Hurtado’s first season was his best in MLS, though he would finish with 47 regular-season goals in 108 games.

Didier Drogba: 11 goals in 11 games; 2015 season

Those 11 goals would come in the only 11 games Drogba played in the 2015 MLS regular season, and he would add another goal in three more playoff games as the Montreal Impact tried to make a run with its new superstar.

Drogba’s big impact was only stopped by the Columbus Crew, which beat Montreal, 3-1, in the second leg to move on to the Eastern Conference final. Drogba’s influence waned a bit in 2016, but the Impact advanced to the conference final and Drogba finished with 10 goals in 22 games.

Mamadou Diallo: 10 goals in 10 games; 2000 season

The Senegalese striker known as "Big Mama" had a big impact in the final third during his three seasons in MLS. Diallo benefitted from the fantastic service of "El Pibe," Carlos Valderrama, and after torching MLS for 10 goals in his first 10 games, he would go on to win the league’s scoring title with 26 goals, earning him a spot in the MLS Best XI. Diallo would not match that output again, though he netted 11 times for the MetroStars in 17 games in 2002.

Carlos Ruiz: 10 goals in 10 games; 2002 season

One of the all-time great goal-scorers in MLS history, Ruiz’s best season in MLS was his first. El Pescadito got off to a blazing start in that season, and he would go on to score 24 goals for the LA Galaxy as he took home the Golden Boot by one goal over a player who will appear later on this list.

Ruiz would add a remarkable eight goals in six postseason games that season, including the game-winner over the New England Revolution in the 113th minute. More remarkable: 14 years after scoring his first goals in MLS, the Guatemalan returned to the league last year and scored for FC Dallas at the age of 37.

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Paul Tenorio is a reporter for FourFourTwo. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTenorio.