2024 MLS Golden Boot favorites - ranked

  • Denis Bouanga won last year's Golden Boot with 20 goals
  • Giorgos Giakoumakis came in second with 17 goals in his first MLS campaign
  • Lionel Messi is set to score tons of goals in 2024 for Inter Miami
Giorgos Giakoumakis came up short in the 2023 Golden Boot race
Giorgos Giakoumakis came up short in the 2023 Golden Boot race / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 MLS season will be here before you know it, meaning another chance for players to stake their claim as the league's top scorer.

A certain LAFC star just might take home the award for the second straight year as long as he doesn't depart the league this winter for a European return. But could last year's MVP have something to say about this year's race alongside a former Barcelona legend?

Here are the top five Golden Boot favorites for the 2024 season - ranked.

5. Lucho Acosta - FC Cincinnati

Luciano Acosta
Cincinnati can count on MVP Lucho Acosta / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

FC Cincinnati have gone through some serious roster turnover in the last six months or so, as Brandon Vazquez recently left for Liga MX's Chivas while Brenner joined Serie A side Udinese over the summer.

But one thing has remained constant - Lucho Acosta, the 2023 MLS MVP winner. The former DC United player notched 17 goals as an attacking midfielder and looks set for more of the same in the New Year with Cincinnati hoping to reach MLS Cup.

4. Cucho Hernandez - Columbus Crew

Cucho Hernández
Cucho Hernandez leads the Crew into 2024 / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Even though Columbus had a mini-crisis when fan-favorite Lucas Zelarayan departed the club for Saudi Arabia, Cucho Hernandez stepped up and delivered the greatest achievement by winning MLS Cup - also bagging 16 goals in the regular season.

The Crew have kept most of the squad together as they aim to go back-to-back, so it's only logical to include Hernandez, who finished in fourth place in goals scored last term.

3. Lionel Messi - Inter Miami

Lionel Messi
Messi looks set to dominate MLS / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

This list wouldn't be complete without the one-and-only Lionel Messi.

Sure, he only scored once in four league appearances in 2023, but we all saw what he was capable of in Leagues Cup, scoring at will against defenses from both MLS and Liga MX.

Miami's lengthy pre-season, coupled with them juggling several competitions in 2024, will definitely bring about some injuries and squad rotation, which could affect Messi's chances at the Golden Boot.

2. Giorgos Giakoumakis - Atlanta United

Giakoumakis won 2023 Newcomer of the Year
Giakoumakis won 2023 Newcomer of the Year / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Giorgos Giakoumakis nearly took home the 2023 Golden Boot with 17 goals scored in regular season play, second only to the eventual winner.

His clinical finishing in his first season in MLS earned him 2023 Newcomer of the Year honors, and he looks primed for more goals should Thiago Almada remain in Atlanta for at least the first half of the season.

1. Denis Bouanga - LAFC

Denis Bouanga
Bouanga looks to win another Golden Boot title / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages

LAFC star Denis Bouanga will have his sights set on winning a second consecutive Golden Boot in 2024.

Although LAFC came up short in MLS Cup vs Columbus Crew, the Gabon international still played his part by scoring late on to make things a little more interesting at Lower.com Field.

He's one of the league's most electric players, so it's no surprise to place him at number one - but a potential return to France could shake the list up a good bit.