Monday Night Football: Mexican National Team Autograph Session & More

Spent the day columnizing for Tuesday’s newspaper about the most popular national team in Southern California – Mexico – which plays an 8 p.m. Wednesday exhibition at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum against Chile.

Fans who want to get an autograph or two from Mexican National Team stars should show up at the adidas Sports Performance store Tuesday on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Tecos goalkeeper Jess Corona, Pachuca’s Fausto Pinto and Jaime Correa, Toluca’s Antonio Naelson and Monterrey’s Luis Prez will be on hand for the hour-long autograph session that begins at 11 a.m. Fans can win match tickets and gift cards.

In other news, Landon Donovan was named MLS Player of the Week Monday (surprise!) after his dominating three-goal performance in the 5-2 win over on the weekend over D.C. United. The award is the ninth of Donovan’s MLS career, tying him with Jeff Cunningham, retired Galaxy great Cobi Jones and Chivas USA’s Ante Razov for the most in MLS history.

Donovan, who leads the league in goal scoring, now has 19 goals and will inevitably become the third player in Galaxy history to score 20 or more goals in a season. Carlos Ruiz got 24 goals in 2002 and Eduardo Hurtado slammed home 21 goals in 1996. The Galaxy have reached the MLS Cup in each of the previous seasons in which they had a 20 goal scorer. Oh great, helluva time to break the string, huh?

How prolific is Donovan? This from MLS:

“For just the second time in MLS history, a player has reached the 19-goal mark in 20 games. Landon Donovan did it Saturday with his hat trick against D.C. United. The only other player to score at that pace through 20 games was Trinidadian Stern John, who did it with the Columbus Crew in 1998 en route to 26 goals in 27 games.

John’s 1998 campaign is still the best scoring rate during a single season at 0.96 goals per game. Donovan could break that record this season.”

The chart:
Highest Single-Season Scoring Rates in MLS History:

Yr. Player Team GP Goals AVG
1998 Stern John CLB 27 26 0.96
2008 Landon Donovan LA 20 19 0.95
2000 Mamadou Diallo TB 28 26 0.93
2002 Carlos Ruiz LA 26 24 0.92
1996 Roy Lassiter TB 30 27 0.90

Oh, and Donovan was saying all the right things over the weekend in encouraging Juergen Klinsmann’s Bayern Munich to come in for him after the season. Contrary to at least one report, however, the German giants have not tendered any sort of offer for Donovan.

BTW, David Beckham and Alan Gordon have joined Landon Donovan and Greg Vanney on official warning from MLS, meaning that they will receive a mandatory one-game suspension if they receive one more yellow card. Next for the Galaxy: the Fire Thursday in Chicago on ESPN2.

In college soccer, Loyola Marymount University junior goalkeeper Patrick Simpson was named West Coast Conference Player of the week for the second time this season. That’s the first time an LMU player has won the honor in a season since former Chivas USA player Arturo Torres did it three times in 2000. Simpson came within seven minutes of pitching two shutouts against #9 Northwestern and #11 Illinois-Chicago over the weekend.

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