Landon Donovan was dropped from the USA World Cup preliminary squad and responded in the big way that a professional should — by putting the doubts about his scoring ability to rest. The USA all-time scorer with 57 goals in over 100 appearances became the MLS all-time leading goal scorer with his 136th goal. Donovan passed Jamaican-born and former U.S. international Jeff Cunningham, who scored 135 in a long and illustrious career.
Donovan, playing in his 311th MLS contest in his 14th season, scored twice in host Los Angeles Galaxy’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night at Stub Hub Center and was voted Player-of-the-Week for his efforts.
The Galaxy forward scored his first goal of the season in the 49th minute off a cross from Robbie Keane and also assisted on the first goal of the game when his free kick was nodded home by Leonardo. The 32-year-old forward added his second goal in the 81st minute. His assist was his 120th in MLS and puts him at second on the all-time assists list, 15 behind all-time leader Steve Ralston.
RED BULLS LOSE AND DRAW
The New York Red Bulls had mixed results this week as it lost to the Portland timbers, 2-0, on Saturday night and then tying, 1-1, at Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday night. On Saturday, Forward Maximiliano Urruti (45th, 74th) scored twice to lead the Timbers to victory at Red Bull Arena; Bradley Wright-Phillips (45th) had the lone goal for New York. On Tuesday night in Kansas City, the Red Bulls did well to rally from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game on Wright-Phillips’ league-leading eleventh goal of the season.
In other MLS games last weekend, Real Salt Lake played to a goalless draw with FC Dallas and now has an MLS, 12-game unbeaten streak to start the season, in Rio Tinto Stadium; the streak at the start of the season puts RSL in good company as only the Los Angeles Galaxy teams in 1996 and 2010 and the 2000 Sporting Kansas City team have accomplished the feat.
Another tie occurred when the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders played to a 2-2 draw. Chad Barrett’s header put the Sounders ahead in the 39th minute, but Erik Hurtado equalized for Vancouver; Gershon Koffie squared the game again for Seattle and Gonzalo Pineda tied the score. Host New England Revolution, leading the Eastern Conference, defeated the much improved DC United, 2-1, at Gillette Stadium; Patrick Mullins and Kelyn Rowe scored for the Revs, while Fabian Espindola tallied for DC United.
The Columbus Crew knocked off the Chicago Fire, 2-0, at Crew Stadium; Ethan Finlay and Jairo Arrieta scored for the winners. The Colorado Rapids beat the visiting Montreal Impact, 4-1, at Commerce City; Dillon Powers scored twice and Kamani Hill and Shane O’Neill added to the score. Andrés Romero tallied for Montreal. Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC played to a 2-2
The USA men’s national team scored two late goals to top Azerbaijan, 2-0, in a friendly international at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Tuesday night. The game was the first of three in a sending-off series before the U.S. meets Ghana, Portugal and Germany in group play at the World Cup, which kicks off in Brazil on Thursday, June 12.
Substitutes Mix Diskerud’s (75th minute) and Aron Johannsson (81st) scored for a U.S. team that still seems to be trying to find its way.
Diskerud scored off a rebounded Michael Bradley shot in front of a crowded goal area, while Johannsson was left wide open to head home Brad Davis’ corner kick. The U.S. plays Turkey on Sunday, June 1 at Red Bull Arena, then take on Nigeria on June 7 in Florida.