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.
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