Landon Donovan stole the headlines on Sunday as LA Galaxy smashed four past a sorry Philadelphia Union side at the StubHub Center.
Donovan scored twice as he broke the all-time MLS scoring record after surpassing Jeff Cunningham’s total and he now has 136 goals in 411 MLS matches. An incredible achievement and one which made Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision, just hours before, to omit Donovan from the USA’s final 23-man roster for the World Cup even more shocking.
The Galaxy were dominant from start to finish as Donovan whipped in a delightful free kick with less than two minutes on the clock which Leonardo headed home to give the hosts an early 1-0 lead. Robbie Keane then clipped the crossbar with a cheeky chip and it was all LA for the first 45 minutes out on West coast.
Just after the break the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived as Keane drove into the box on the right and pulled the ball to the back post which Donovan tapped home to become Major League Soccer’s all-time leading goalscorer with 135 goals.
Huge celebrations followed that landmark goal, as Donovan had been tied with Cunningham since last October. The relief was palpable as Donovan put a tough week behind him to remind everyone exactly what he does best: score goals and make things happen.
Soon after that it was 3-0 to LA as Keane capitalized on a horrific mistake from Sheanon Williams who duffed a back pass and Keane latched onto the loose ball before nutmegging Zac MacMath to put LA in dreamland.
It was all one way traffic as Donovan then played a delicious one-two with Keane before slotting his second and LA’s fourth of the match before being substituted soon after to a standing ovation. It was an emotional scene as the LA fans had waved several banners in support of Donovan, plus chanted his name throughout the match, after his disappointing week with the national team. You could tell the man who has spent over 10 years with the Galaxy appreciated the rousing reception he received.
Late on Maurice Edu, another player left off the USMNT World Cup roster at the final hurdle this week, scored from the penalty spot as the Union grabbed a consolation.
However this was Donovan’s night, as the leading light of U.S. soccer etched his name into the record books all on his own.