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How has Marco Di Vaio entered uncharted territory in the MLS?

Di Vaio

Former Juventus striker Marco Di Vaio has become the first player to score twenty goals in a single MLS season, without having to rely on penalties.

Montreal Impact front-man Marco Di Vaio has become the first MLS player to score twenty league goals without the aid of penalty kicks, following his goal against Philadelphia Union in Montreal on Saturday.

Former Juventus, Valencia and Italy finisher Di Vaio has proved a revelation for Impact, who only joined Major League Soccer in 2012, having been founded in 2010. Di Vaio currently leads the MLS goalscoring charts and is red-hot favourite for the Major League Soccer 'Most Valuable Player' accolade. He leads Mike Magee of Chicago Fire by one goal, with Camilo Sanvezzo of Vancouver Whitecaps also in contention for the MLS Golden Boot award.

Di Vaio is, perhaps unexpectedly, Montreal's highest goalscorer in history, having amassed 27 goals in his first two season with the club. His tally is so impressive that it dwarfs that of their second placed marksman, Canadian midfielder Patrice Bernier, who has scored thirteen goals to date for the Canadian franchise.

The thirty-seven year old from Rome is one of a small contingent of Italian stars at Montreal, joined by former international team-mates Matteo Ferrari and Alessandro Nesta.

Montreal sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference, and look set to enter the play-off phase to compete for the MLS crown. The Impact currently have 49 points from 33 games. The top five in the Eastern Conference progress to the play-offs, but sixth placed Houston Dynamo and seventh placed Philadelphia Union, if results transpired to fulfil what Montreal would regard as their worst possible outcome.

Montreal play the final game of the full MLS season when they travel to fellow Canadian franchise Toronto FC next Saturday, with a point enough to guarantee progression to the next phase.

He may be at the tail end of his career, but just like a fine wine, Di Vaio just keeps getting better with age.

image: © abdallahh

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