MLS: Landon Donovan becomes all-time top scorer

Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan

Days after being left off United States World Cup team, Landon Donovan became Major league Soccer’s all-time leading goalscorer.

The American icon was once again the trending topic on social media as he scored his 135 and 136 regular season goals against Philadelphia Union. The relieved attacker was happy to break the tie with Jeff Cunningham after waiting eight months.

He said, “Obviously, a lot of relief in some ways, a lot of joy, but I feel like I’m in really good form right now, and I really feel good about how I played, and this is a continuation of how I’ve played over the last few months.”

The record breaking goal came in the 49th minute when Robbie Keane found a wide open Donovan inside the box for a tap-in. The second goal was scored in the 81st minute, right before Donovan exited the game to a standing ovation. Again Keane was the provider as his strike partner finished from close range.

Longtime coach, Bruce Arena called Donovan’s achievement “an unbelievable milestone for any athlete and just a great accomplishment,” and he believes “it takes a little pressure off him (Donovan) in not having to worry about that record now.” The former USMNT head coach also said, “Others can chase him for the rest of his life.”

Donovan also picked up an assist against Union, raising his regular season total to 120. He only needs 16 assists to pass Steve Ralston as the league’s all-time leader in assists.

The experienced marksmen told reporters, “I’ve sacrificed a lot to be in the position I’m in, and I was very happy for myself, because I’ve dedicated a lot to this, and I think I deserve what happened today.”

The 32-year-old has come a long way since scoring his first goal as a 19-year-old old playing for San Jose Earthquakes in 2001. He has been the face of US soccer and MLS for over a decade and has earned respect in the best football league in the world, during his two loan stints at Everton.

In his 15 seasons in the league, the versatile attacker is undoubtedly the greatest player to ever compete in MLS. He has the most goals in the playoffs, 22, he is LA Galaxy’s all-time goalscorer, and he’s won the MLS Cup an astounding five times. He was the league’s MVP in 2009, he’s played in multiple All-Star games and was MVP in 2001 and has was the recipient of the Goal of the Year award in 2009.

Donovan is also considered by most to be the greatest player to ever wear the US colors. He’s been successful in international competitions scoring five World Cup goals, he’s dominated the CONCACAF Gold Cup, winning the MVP award in 2013, has been the competition’s top scorer three times and has been named to the best eleven on multiple occasions. In 2009, he was a key component of the team that nearly shocked the world during the Confederations Cup.

Even though he won’t be in Brazil, Donovan is still the greatest American soccer player ever, scoring 57 goals and adding 57 assists in 156 games.

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