No. 135 (and 136) at last: Landon Donovan becomes MLS all-time goal king
Despite his high-profile snub that will keep him out of the 2014 World Cup, Landon Donovan was already the U.S. national team's all-time leading scorer. Now, at long last, he can add MLS All-Time Goal King to his loaded resume.
It took Donovan more time than many would have expected entering the season, but the LA Galaxy star broke a tie with Jeff Cunningham for the league's regular-season scoring record against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday evening at StubHub Center, scoring goal No. 135 of his storied career. Donovan, who beat then-New York/New Jersey MetroStars goalkeeper Tim Howard for his first MLS goal in 2001 and matched Cunningham's record against Chivas USA last October, notched his 135th by beating Zac MacMath on a tap-in, taking Robbie Keane's return pass after Donovan slipped him in on the right side.
Perhaps more poignant than the timing of his record-setting strike was Donovan's reaction. He raised his arms, looked up and gave a shout toward the heavens before burying his head in his hands and trotting down the Galaxy sideline to be congratulated by everybody on the bench.
Since his return from a personal playing hiatus late last March, Donovan became the only member of the 50-goal, 50-assist club in U.S. Soccer history, and his 57 international goals remain the most by an American. Donovan also has the most postseason goals in MLS history, with 22, and he completed his record trifecta with Sunday's strike.
He kicked off the game with an assist to Leonardo in the second minute, serving a free kick right onto the Brazilian's head that he nodded home easily.
A minute before his ceremonial substitution in the 82nd minute, Donovan added a second goal on the night in a similar way to his first. Again, it was a pass from Keane inside the penalty area that gave Donovan a relatively easy finish past MacMath.
Watch highlights of Donovan's record-setting goal, his follow-up effort and some of the other milestone tallies in his illustrious career, below:
Record-setting strike: vs. Philadelphia Union, May 25, 2014
No. 136: vs. Philadelphia Union, May 25, 2014
1st MLS goal: vs. New York/New Jersey MetroStars; May 19, 2001 (0:32 mark)
100th MLS goal: PK vs. Chicago Fire; Aug. 1, 2010
134th MLS goal (tying the record): vs. Chivas USA; Oct. 6, 2013
1st U.S. goal: vs. Mexico, Oct. 25, 2000
50th U.S. goal: PK vs. Guatemala; July 5, 2013
Goal vs. Mexico in 2002 World Cup round of 16 (1:44 mark)
Goal vs. Algeria in 2010 World Cup group stage