Gold islands are typically associated with high binding affinity to adsorbates and catalytic activity. Here we present the growth of such dispersed nanoscale gold islands on single layer MoS2, prepared on an inert SiO2/Si support by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). This study offers a combination of growth process development, optical characterization, photoelectron spectroscopy at sub-micron spatial resolution, and advanced density functional theory modeling for detailed insight into the electronic interaction between gold and single-layer MoS2. In particular, we find the gold density of states in Au/MoS2/SiO2/Si to be far less well-defined than Au islands on other 2-dimensional materials such as graphene, for which we also provide data. We attribute this effect to the presence of heterogeneous Au adatom/MoS2-support interactions within the nanometer-scale gold cluster. As a consequence, theory predicts that CO will exhibit adsorption energies in excess of 1 eV at the Au cluster edges, where the local density of states is dominated by Au 5dz2 symmetry.