Landon Donovan has never been shy to admit he’s a numbers guy.
He knows his stats, whether it’s soccer around the world or Major League Soccer. Players, teams, goals, assists, standings, win streaks, he’s pretty tuned in with all of it.
When it comes to his own growing file of numbers, he will promptly change the subject to doing anything to help his team win. One of his favorite go-to answers is, paraphrasing, “I’d rather not score and win than score and lose.”
He’ll still put that out there in the coming weeks as the Galaxy continue their mad dash for a fifth MLS Cup, one that will signify the send-off for Donovan and his brilliant career.
But a couple of informal chats with Donovan revealed that he still has eyes on some numbers, and might have become just a little more interested in some of those he was not aware of.
“That would make a good story,” Donovan said with a twinkle in his eye.
Of course, publicly he’ll take the “When all is said and done” approach.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, Donovan has 143 MLS goals (No. 1 all-time) and 131 assists (No. 2 behind Steve Ralston’s 135). He was asked if he was aware of any other MLS player who had a career double-triple (more than 100 goals and assists) and he came up with a couple of names, but he was certain of Jaime Moreno.
Sure enough, Moreno is the only other MLS player to hit that milestone with 133 goals and 102 assists.
With his penalty-kick goal against Colorado Friday, Donovan passed Jeff Cunningham for most career game-winning goals (41). He looked a little resigned to that mark not lasting long, since San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski has 34. Curiously, though, Wondo has none this season.
An obscure stat that not even Donovan was aware of is game-winning assists, and Donovan is on the verge of knocking that one out of Ralston’s hands. With four this year, Donovan has 40 in his career, one behind Ralston.
“I should have passed the ball on the PK,” Donovan joked about his goal against Colorado.
But closing in is Houston’s Brad Davis, who has 36. Davis has three this season, but he is older than Donovan and isn’t passing to Robbie Keane or Gyasi Zardes, so we’ll see.