For the Record: A look at Landon Donovan's goal numbers through the years
Poor Joe Cannon.
He was a standout in net for four different Major League Soccer teams during his stellar 16-year MLS career, an MLS Cup champion and a two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and we’re talking about the record he wishes he didn’t have?
With Landon Donovan still tied for the all-time goalscoring record heading into the LA Galaxy's matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday (10:30 pm ET, MLS Live, TSN in Canada), MLS Insider spoke with five of the most decorated defenders in league history about trying to stop him (video above).
Meanwhile, the Elias Sports Bureau dug through Donovan’s stats throughout the years and produced a wealth of info about the wheres and whens of his goals, and, unfortunately for some, which goalkeepers he’s punished the most throughout the years.
It turns out that the all-time leader in goals allowed during Donovan’s career is none other than the 39-year-old Cannon, who last played with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2013. The two actually played together during Donovan’s early days with the San Jose Earthquakes, and then again with the LA Galaxy in 2007 (they won an MLS Cup together with the Quakes in 2001), but after Cannon joined the Colorado Rapids in 2003, he was fair game.
During his time with the Rapids, a second stint with the Earthquakes and a final run with the Whitecaps, Cannon allowed 10 of Donovan’s 134 regular-season goals, more than any other goalkeeper in league history.
“I’ve probably helped him out a lot,” Cannon quipped on MLSsoccer.com’s March to the Match podcast this week. “But he’s still playing, so there are some goalkeepers out there who might give up some more goals.”
True enough, Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins is on deck to potentially equal Cannon’s record later this season. The former D.C. United and Portland Timbers man has allowed nine of Donovan’s goals in his career, while current San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and Real Salt Lake hero Nick Rimando have both allowed eight. All three players will suit up against Donovan at least one more time before 2014 is through.
Interestingly enough, there are only two goalkeepers in league history who have faced Donovan at least three times during the regular season and kept him off the scoreboard: former Seattle Sounders man Michael Gspurning (five games) and Timbers veteran Donovan Ricketts (three), who will face Donovan later this season.
As for teams, Donovan has victimized FC Dallas more than any other, scoring 20 goals in 32 regular-season games back to 2001, including three goals in two matches last season. Second on the list is D.C. United (14 goals scored in 20 games), followed by Kansas City (13 goals in 28 games) and Chivas USA (11 goals in 24 games).
It comes as little surprise that Donovan has scored nearly half of his goals at the Home Depot Center/StubHub Center (61 goals in 121 games there since the stadium’s 2003 opening, effectively one every other game), or that he scored 17 of his goals at the old Spartan Stadium during his early years with the Quakes. Of the current MLS stadiums, he’s scored more at Washington’s RFK Stadium (seven) than any other.
Surprisingly enough, he’s never scored in eight games played at Columbus Crew Stadium, the longest scoring drought in any current stadium in his career.
For those wondering about his penalty kick numbers, he’s scored 28 of his 134 goals from the spot (21 percent). Former MLS speedster and journeyman Jeff Cunningham, the man who still has a share of the record until Donovan breaks it, scored 20 goals from the spot, roughly 15 percent.
For comparison’s sake, former D.C. United star Jaime Moreno scored 44 of his 133 goals from the spot (33 percent), while the active player closest to Donovan, Toronto FC playmaker Dwayne De Rosario, has scored just 14 of his 103 career goals from the spot (13.5 percent).
The vast majority of Donovan’s goals have come off his right foot (88), while he’s added another 33 off his left and another 12 from his head. He scored one with another part of his body, typically a deflection.
The man with the most Donovan assists in his career? None other than former Galaxy star David Beckham, who assisted on nine Donovan goals between 2007-12 (7.3 percent), followed by current Galaxy president Chris Klein (8) and current LA striker Robbie Keane (8).
And lastly, the stat that indicates what exactly Donovan's meant to his teams in San Jose and LA. He's notched a goal or an assist on 253 of his teams' 475 goals (53.3 percent) when he was played, the most of any player in league history, and his teams are 133-89-75 in Donovan's 306 career regular season appearances.