2012 MLS Cup - Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy

Landon Donovan joins Jeff Cunningham atop MLS scoring charts, how many will he get?

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Before the LA Galaxy’s game on Sunday against Chivas USA, Landon Donovan was complaining of not being fully-fit.

Then in the first half he scored twice to propel himself to the top of Major League Soccer’s all-time scoring charts, alongside MLS legend Jeff Cunningham.

Donovan now has 134 goals in his MLS career, and his next strike will seal his place as the solitary all-time leading scorer in the league’s 18 year history.

But just how many will Donovan score?

Obviously there are a lot of variables flying around here, but given the fact that Donovan only recently signed a new deal with LA and has returned from his self-imposed sabbatical ready and raring to take the league by storm, it seems as though it’ll be a long time before the goals dry up.

(MORE: Highlights – Donovan ties MLS goal scoring record in SuperClasico rout)

At the age of 31, it wouldn’t be outlandish to speculate Donovan will still be playing in MLS at the age of 36. So, at the rate of say 10-12 goals per year, and given the fact that he still has a few games left this season, is it wrong to think Donovan can reach the magic 200 mark?

I don’t think so.

With the Galaxy, you know he’s always going to have top quality teammates to feed him chances. And, in part, Donovan’s goalscoring success over the years is down to the high caliber of teammates he’s had. But make no mistake about it, Donovan has scored plenty off his own back and when all is said and done 15-20 years from now, he will be remembered Stateside in the same fondness that Sir Bobby Charlton is remembered in England, or Franz Beckenbauer in Germany.

He is, and always will be, an iconic figure of American soccer. I expect him to be scoring goal for many years to come, as Donovan’s status as a legendary star of MLS continues to shine brighter than ever.

Good on you, LD. Now just one more strike and you’ve got the record on your own. What’s the betting he becomes MLS’ all-time leading scorer in front of his own fans at a packed stadium, against his old side San Jose Earthquakes in a crucial Western Conference match up on October 20?

I’d almost guarantee it. As his 134 goals and counting have proven over the years, Donovan always steps up to the big occasion.

For old times sake, here’s a quick snapshot of the top 10 scorers in MLS history:

1. Jeff Cunningham – 134

– Landon Donovan – 134

3. Jaime Moreno – 133

4. Ante Razov – 114

5. Jason Kreis – 108

6. Dwayne De Rosario – 103

7. Taylor Twellman – 101

8. Edson Buddle – 98

9. Carlos Ruiz – 88

10. Roy Lassiter – 88

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Watford

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  • Chelsea are without N'Golo Kante, Victor Moses (both hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still absent.
  • Watford remain without Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (both thigh), plus long-term absentees Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee).
  • Watford have not won against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but the Hornets have won 10 points of a possible 12 on the road. 
  • Chelsea have lost three of their first eight matches this season. No team has ever lost this many of their opening eight matches and still won the Premier League title.

Watford heads south for another London derby with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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The Hornets have had an amazing start to the season and currently occupy fourth place on 15 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, which has lost two-straight Premier League games. The Blues have struggled without N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata and there have been reports of grumbles from the squad about dissatisfaction with Antonio Conte‘s training methods, but the Chelsea coach has brushed those rumors off.

Meanwhile Watford is coming off a confidence-boosting win last weekend against fellow Londoners Arsenal, and the club is looking to take down another big club for a second-straight week.

What they’re saying

Watford manager Marco Silva on his team’s start“I want everybody to be really calm. We did really in the first eight matches but it’s too early. We want to continue to work hard every day. Everything changes fast and you need to keep going and treat the next game as the most important. But of course I feel proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being under pressure: “‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.”

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Prediction

Chelsea has its back against the wall but the team’s overall quality should be enough to see them through with all three points against Watford. The Hornets luck runs out in Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hold on for a late win. Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

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Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

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Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

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Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

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“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

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Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

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Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.