Brad Davis marked his 400th overall MLS match – including both regular season and playoffs – in Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on Sunday, a distinguished milestone that puts the veteran winger in one of Major League Soccer's most selective clubs.
Davis' durability – like Ralston's before him – is made all the more impressive by the fact that unlike the others, they lived long and prospered in one of the more labor-intensive positions on the field.
Hartman and Rimando are goalkeepers, generally a spot where experience trumps youthful vigor, and Beckerman has spent most of his career in defensive midfield, a role where expert reading of the game can make up for older, less dynamic legs. But the flanks are different. Even those without breakaway speed are usually expected to track back and most wingers roam from endline to endline in the course of a typical match.
So will anyone else join these six survivors in the 400 club any time soon?
It might take a while. Not only do players have to be good enough to get the nod from their coaches game after game, year after year and avoid injuries and suspensions, it also helps a lot if their teams are good enough to qualify for, then make deep runs in the playoffs. Davis' stats include a whopping 27 playoff games, while Beckerman has a sterling 31 postseason appearances to his credit.
To put these totals in perspective, even the iconic Landon Donovan, with most of his career spent in the league and on playoff contenders, fell short at 334 and 41, for a total of 375 games.
Philadelphia Union ironman Brian Carroll is the only active player anywhere near the 400 mark, with 349 regular-season games and 20 playoff appearances under his belt for a total of 369, and the Portland Timbers' “Captain Jack” Jewsbury has 333/19 for a total of 352.
Can either of them catch up to Davis & Co.? It'll take healthy doses of both skill and luck for anyone else to roll 400, but they've got a fighting chance. No one else in the game can say the same.