WHO: Landon Donovan
WHEN: Sunday, October 6
WHERE: vs. Chivas USA – StubHub Center
WHAT: Landon Donovan entered the 2013 season needing 11 goals to surpass Jeff Cunningham and become the all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history. But after missing the first month of the season and then scoring just three times for LA over the next four months, it appeared that the record would need to wait another year.
However, five goals in the month of August, including a hat trick on the road against FC Dallas, brought Cunningham’s record back into view. Entering the final SuperClasico of the year against Chivas USA on October 6, Donovan sat two goals shy of matching the record of 134 all-time regular season goals. He would get the first of those goals, pulling within one of the record, inside the opening 30 minutes against Chivas USA as LA jumped out to a 3-0 lead. They would extend that lead to four late in the opening half and it would be one to remember for the Galaxy’s all-time leading scorer.
Donovan’s 134th goal, which was also his 10th of the season, showed that he still had his impressive pace and that his eye for goal was as sharp as ever. Racing onto a perfectly placed through ball from Pablo Mastroeni, Donovan ran past Bobby Burling and lobbed Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who was left stranded in the center of the penalty area, from 20 yards out, extending the Galaxy lead to 4-0 and pulling even with Cunningham on the all-time scoring charts.
While that would be Donovan’s final goal of the season, it was more than worthy as the record-tying goal. Now it just remains to be seen if his next goal, the record-breaking strike, can be equally impressive.
To see the rest of the candidates for LA Galaxy Goal of the Year, go to LAGalaxy.com/GOTY.