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Tracking Landon Donovan: the Galaxy man just keeps ticking off those achievements

Jul 15, 2012, 2:05 PM EDT

Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

Landon Donovan joined the most elite of MLS fraternities last night – not that there was ever doubt he would arrive safely there.

The longtime Galaxy and U.S. international star had a goal and an assist as the Galaxy clobbered Portland’s poor, mostly defenseless defense. It was a 5-3 Stumptown beat-down.

That was Donovan’s 100th MLS assist, and that milepost is significant for a number of reasons.

Let’s dig a little deeper for a good look-see at what this means:

  • First, he joins Jaime Moreno as the only player in the MLS 100-100 club.  Donovan already has 122 goals.
  • Donovan now sits at 122 goals and 100 assists. Moreno had 133 goals and 102 assists. If it looks like Donovan still has some catching-up to do, consider this: Moreno’s numbers were built over 340 career matches. Donovan now sits at 272, about two whole seasons fewer.
  • Donovan is 30. He’s got good years left (assuming the man doesn’t grow tired of it and hop overseas or retire early or whatever). I’ve written several times that Donovan will finish as Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer. I’d bet a Whopper and fries on it. But now we have to start discussing the possibility that the first American of Southern California soccer will finish with the career king double, leadership in all-time goals and assists.
  • He’ll almost surely finish second, at least. (Again, assuming an ongoing attachment to MLS). But Steve Ralston and his all-time best 135 assists is no slam dunk to reach. By averaging six or seven assists over the next four or five years, Donovan get there.  That target is well within reach, but injuries, life, etc., do throw up roadblocks along the way.
  • It all begs this question: If Donovan does climb to the top of both charts, can we call him the best to ever make the bulk of his career from MLS? Moreno and Dwayne De Rosario will have something to say about that – but the numbers on Donovan’s side may just be too hard to ignore.
The MLS all-time goals and assists leaders, updated through last night’s matches:

source:

  1. sportsviking - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Think it’s also worth mentioning how much tougher the league is now. Not that it wasn’t when guys like Moreno and Ralston played, but now there is so much parody and every team you play gives you a tough match. Donovan did play a bit in the “old” MLS, but I think it speaks volumes to his talent that he’s managed to achieve such consistent production despite the changing style and improving league.

    • Steve Davis - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      That’s a great point. Thought about getting into that very thing … but sometimes a writer can bog down the main point by following too many little tributaries. (Good thing I’ve got smart commentors like you to keep the conversation going. So … cheers)

  2. joeyt360 - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Ralston will be tough, but I could see Donovan becoming more of an ‘assist specialist’ later in his career. I could see >150g/135a from him.

  3. randomhookup - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    What do the asterisks mean in the stats?

  4. Steve Davis - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Means they played with multiple teams in their MLS careers – the team listed is the last team they played for. My bad … should have explained. The list is a screen-shot from MLS on-line records section.

  5. mkbryant3 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    sportsviking, I must say that I saw more parody in the early years (those unis!) but more parity lately. ;-)

    SD, speaking of Stumptown, have you tried their bottled cold brewed coffee? Deelish!

    Stevie Ralston. Legend. Was there ever a steadier player (ability-wise and emotionally)?

  6. Steve Davis - Jul 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Hmmm. Bottled cold brewed coffee? I like my “cold brews” and I like my coffee. But I wouldn’t know what to make of such a witch’s brew

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