CARSON, Calif. – If Landon Donovan is going to take hold of the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record before the World Cup, he’ll have to do it fast.
With the 30-man U.S. preliminary squad for the World Cup congregating in Stanford, Calif., on May 14, Donovan has just two league matches left with the Galaxy, starting with Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Although plenty of focus has been placed on Donovan’s pursuit of the league’s all-time regular season goal record, the Galaxy forward is putting little emphasis on the record.
“It’s been quite a while now that we’ve been talking about the goal,” said Donovan. “I want to keep playing well and have the team continue to play well. Eventually the goal will come, but right now the focus is on as a team.”
Will Donovan get the 135th goal on Saturday?
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In the latest ad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is featured among other titans of world soccer in a new commercial by Gatorade that has a bit of a Disney feel to it.
Check it out below but preferably before midnight so you don't turn into a pumpkin.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are in the midst of yet another bye week that the team must savor because soon the grind of the MLS Regular Season will truly begin.
This weekend will serve as the Galaxy’s third off week of the 2014 campaign which was set in place—in large part—due to LA’s participation in the CONCACAF Champions League. Following this weekend’s bye, the Galaxy will not experience another weekend off until MLS action is halted due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Once MLS action resumes, the Galaxy's campaign will truly begin as the team will play at least once each week until the season's end.
Although the schedule will pick up at a rapid pace after this weekend’s respite, the Galaxy actually believe that 2014 will bring a smaller work-load than past seasons.
“I think we actually see this as a lighter year, because we're not in the [next edition of] the Champions League. We're not playing extra games [down the stretch], so for us to play every week is fine. I personally would prefer to be playing regularly,” Landon Donovan told reporters earlier this week. “At different points of the season, which you're nicked up, you accept a bye week happily, but to have them so early is a little unnecessary, I guess. But it is what it is. I would think preferably we'd have them more late in the season, but that's the way it goes.”
But midfielder Stefan Ishizaki thinks that the bye week may turn out to be advantageous for LA ahead of their match against the Colorado Rapids next Saturday.
“Playing on hard turf in Vancouver made guys a bit sore and I think that it’s a good thing that we got that out,” said Ishizaki. “We can train hard during the bye week and then ease up our preparations as we get closer to the Colorado match.”
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is chasing history, but you wouldn’t know it if you just asked him.
Donovan remains tied with MLS journeyman Jeff Cunningham for the league’s all-time regular season goal scoring record with 134, but has yet to find the back of the net in any of LA’s three league matches this season. A week ago, Donovan was active on the offensive end as he rattled off four shots –one of which forcing a save –while tallying two assists.
Although he’s yet to find the back of the net, Donovan knows that he’ll claim the record, but what is most important is that the Galaxy wins when he does.
“I know that it is going to come,” said Donovan. “I’ve never been the guy that is too worried about scoring. If I get in a good position then I want to score to help the team win, but if I score and we don’t win then it won’t feel the same. I want to make sure that we win.”
CARSON, Calif. – No record, no problem for LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.
Despite a dangerous attacking performance that allowed him to account for five of the Galaxy’s 19 attempts on goal, Donovan was unable to find goal No. 135 that would give him sole possession of the MLS all-time regular season scoring record which he currently shares with Jeff Cunningham.
Donovan notched two assists on the evening, but when he found himself alone on goal in the 65th minute, his goal was pushed away by Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Despite being stuck on 134 regular season goals for yet another week, Donovan asserts that he does not feel unlucky that his goal didn’t come against the Rojiblancos.
“I don’t feel unlucky,” Donovan told reporters after the match. “I can do better with those chances, but it was a little sticky today and the ball caught up a few times. I’m happy with how I played, I thought I played well. Goals will come, I’m happy to win games.”
“I just want to play well and eventually goals will come,” he added. “I’m not worried about [the record]. As long as I play well and I’m contributing then that’s what is important. “
Think Donovan will break the record this weekend against Vancouver?
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CARSON, Calif. – Once the Galaxy kick off on Sunday, it will have been 182 days since Landon Donovan tied up Jeff Cunningham’s MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record last October against Chivas USA. Now Donovan will have an opportunity to gain sole possession of the league’s goal scoring record against that same Chivas side.
The 32-year-old has yet to find the back of the net in LA’s two MLS regular season matches or their CONCACAF Champions League series against Club Tijuana, but has tallied a great strike record against Chivas with 12 goals in all MLS competitions. Donovan is expecting to be in the lineup on Sunday despite suffering from tendonitis in his knee during his time with the U.S. National Team earlier in the week which prevented him from starting against Mexico.
Although the SuperClasico is always a heated match despite LA’s dominance in the series standings, Donovan downplayed the idea that breaking the league’s goal scoring record against the cross-hall rivals would mean any more to him.
“I don’t think it would mean more because it’s against them, but I just like to score goals," said Donovan after training on Friday. "I feel like I've played pretty well in the first four games and I played okay the other night [against Mexico]. I feel like I’m doing well and moving well, but it’s always nice to hit the goal and I want to hit the goal.”
Donovan admits that he needs to be more selfish toward goal, but was quick to dispel any notion that the hunt for goal 135 is wearing on the attacker.
“I’m in a different phase. I don’t judge how I play based on if I score,” Donovan said. “I've played a lot of bad games where I scored then thought ‘oh, I’m great’ but I’d rather continue playing well and not score. I deserve for myself, I deserve to score. I deserve to score and I’m looking to score.”
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Tendonitis in Landon Donovan’s knee led the LA Galaxy star to be a shock omission from the U.S. National Team starting lineup for their 2-2 draw against Mexico.
What Donovan jokingly described as “old man issues,” helped lead to contribute to a poor training session by the Galaxy midfielder according to head coach Jurgen Klinsmann leading the U.S. boss to leave him on the substitutes’ bench for the start of the match.
“He had no tempo in his training sessions, he had no kind of higher pace, higher rhythm, he didn’t take people on, so I sat him down [Wednesday] morning and we actually went through his training session yesterday,” said Klinsmann. “I told him based on what I saw the last three days, ‘I can’t leave [Chris Wondolowski] out there because Wondo deserves after two goals against South Korea. He’s working so hard.’
“[Donovan] understood it.” Klinsmann added, ‘[He said,] Yeah, I didn’t have good training sessions and I have a little bit of issues with my knee,’ and I told him, ‘You’re ready coming off the bench.’ He was ready; he came off the bench, so no problem at all.”
Once he came on in the 59th minute, Donovan did not look out of sorts as he made several dangerous runs up field as he attempted to kick start the U.S. offense amid a dominating second half showing by El Tri.
“I felt good tonight. It was nice to get some minutes on the field, obviously, I wanted to start the game, but circumstances didn’t allow that,” said Donovan. “It was fun to be a part of this game and another great game between these two teams.
“When I’m healthy and I train, I train well. This week, I had some tendinitis and I couldn’t play the way that I want to,” he said. “It was good to back off a little bit and still get some minutes tonight.”
Check it out below.
LAGalaxy.com has created a "By The Numbers" graphic ahead of the U.S. National Team's match against Mexico on Wednesday.
Myself and the rest of the LAGalaxy.com will be providing coverage throughout the match live from Arizona.
Check out the graphic below.
One of my favorite parts of the lead up of a World Cup is the gradual unveil of each nations kits and on Tuesday, the U.S. National Team unveiled their away uniform for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The jersey features a blue, white and red pattern and will be used by both the U.S. Men's and Women's team. U.S. Soccer's announcement comes on heels of their reveal of the primary kit which is a white polo kit with understated blue stripes down the jersey.
Below is a photo produced by U.S. Soccer of Los Angeles-based musical act Haim in the kits.
Thoughts on the jersey? Will you be going through the Wire to make it your favorite "Forever?"