Lets set aside all the branches of the Landon Donovan debate for a moment, shall we? (Ahem … pretty please?)
Temporarily lay away the arguments about whether he deserves a World Cup roster spot, his value to the national team going forward, his tactical role, etc.
For now, let’s just quickly examine – and marvel at – the man’s assault on every scoring record around the team. Because it really is quite something else.
Donovan is the national team’s all-time leader in goals and assists. That’s not exactly news, but it is topical today because Donovan had a goal and two assists in last night’s ground-and-pound against helpless Belize.
That gives Donovan 52 goals and 51 assists; he is the first U.S. player to reach the “50 milepost” in either category.
More to the point here: I just don’t see anybody capable of duplicating the 50 double – Shall we just call it the “Donovan Double Five-O?” – for a long, long time. In fact, I’m not sure I see anybody making up the ground on Donovan in either category, especially since the LA Galaxy attacker isn’t done internationally, surely about to scoop up more goals and more assists in the Gold Cup games ahead.
No active player is anywhere close to Donovan in assists. Dempsey is nearest; he has 12.
Dempsey does have a legitimate shot at catching Donovan in goals, currently second on the all-time chart with 35. Then again, Dempsey is just a year younger than Donovan – so he may not be around the international scene much longer than his U.S. teammate. Plus, Donovan will benefit from any Gold Cup stat padders over the next couple of weeks the way Donovan may.
Here are the U.S. all-time goals and assists leaders: