Thursday, September 04, 2008

Can Donovan Join the 20 Goal Club?

Landon Donovan's brace against New England last weekend brings his goal total to 16 with eight games left on the Galaxy's schedule. If he manages to knock in four more goals, it would make him the ninth player in MLS history to reach the 20-goal plateau.

Player TM GM G Year
1 Roy Lassiter TB 30 27 1996
2 Stern John CLB 27 26 1998
Mamadou Diallo TB 28 26 2000
3 Carlos Ruiz LA 26 24 2002
4 Taylor Twellman NE 28 23 2002
Raul Diaz Arce DC 28 23 1996
5 Eduardo Hurtado LA 26 21 1996
6 Luciano Emilio DC 29 20 2007

As you can see, no player has ever registered at least 20 goals more than once. When Luciano Emilio did it last season, he was the first to do so in five years. This is Donovan's best goal-scoring year by far with 16 goals in just 18 games played. Can he make it to 20? That's a very interesting question.

Because MLS does not break for international dates, Donovan will likely miss at least two of the Galaxy's remaining eight games while on World Cup qualifying duty. The US plays Cuba on 9/6 and Trinidad and Tobago on 9/10, meaning Donovan will miss the 9/6 game against Salt Lake. The US plays the return legs of those fixtures 10/11 and 10/15, which means he'll likely miss the 10/12 game against Colorado. Factoring in fatigue and injuries from these games, he could also miss 10/18 against Houston and 9/13 against Kansas City.

If he keeps scoring at this rate, he'll finish with 20 goals if he plays at least five more games. Whether he plays that many remains to be seen. If he doesn't, it's yet another in a long line of arguments against MLS playing on FIFA dates.

1 comment:

scaryice said...

When two players are tied, you have to include that in the order. For example, Ruiz is 4th, not 3rd.