Happy Birthday to Steve Ralston … and wondering if anyone will catch his MLS assist mark?

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Steve Ralston, who helped create more MLS goals than anyone in the league’s 19-year history, turns 39 today.

He is a trusted assistant on Dominic Kinnear’s staff in Houston. But until just a few years ago, Ralston was a tidy possession and crossing specialist who meant a lot to the strong New England Revolution teams of the last decade.

He chalked up 135 assists over 14 MLS seasons, far and away the league’s all-time top total. I was once close to convinced that Landon Donovan would catch Ralston if he remained in MLS for the duration. Now? Maybe not nearly as much.

And if it’s not Donovan, Houston’s Brad Davis is the only man within stiffing distance. But he’s 31, and would probably need to retain the current pace (about 12 a year) over three more seasons (through 2016) to get there.

Here’s the MLS all-time list:

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