CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy’s victory over Sporting KC on Saturday was a meaningful one for the team, and a truly historic one for Landon Donovan.
Donovan scored two goals in the 4-1 romp to up his career total to 110, moving him past current Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis and into fourth all-time on the league’s scoring leaderboard.
Donovan — who also suddenly leads the league this season with seven goals, all sprinkled throughout the last five games — is now just four goals back of former Chicago Fire and Chivas USA star Ante Razov for No. 3 on the all-time list.
He’s still 22 goals behind all-time leader Jaime Moreno, but can he catch the former D.C. United star?
“Sure, why not?” Donovan said after the victory Saturday night. “I would guess I still have some more years to play.”
Donovan scored seven consecutive goals for the Galaxy after notching his first goal of the season against Portland on April 23. He got goal No. 2 in the match, and then scored one goal against FC Dallas, New York and Philadelphia before scoring two more against Sporting KC.
“I’m at a point now where I’m not motivated solely by scoring,” Donovan said. “I’m motivated by winning. The scoring feels good, but when you score a goal that ties the game and puts your team in the lead, that feels really good.”
Donovan also reiterated what he’s said before this season: He’s no longer the goal-scorer he once was.
“When you put yourself in good spots and you’re aggressive, the chances come,” he said. “Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t, and right now they’re going in so we just keep going.”
That Donovan does not consider himself a goalscorer, though, is crazy talk in the Galaxy locker room.
“When Landon said he’s not a goalscorer, I don’t know what he’s talking about because his game is about scoring goals,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “When he scores goals it’s exciting. It’s good for teams he’s playing on, and at the moment Landon is playing really well. … Him scoring goals is big for this club.”
Donovan’s scoring heroics may or may not represent the mind set he has as a scorer but for certain they represent the value he offers to his team. If the team needs to score goals, he finds the back of the net.
And with the Galaxy’s recent scoring woes — after Saturday, Galaxy forwards have combined for four goals this season — the need for goals to come from somewhere else is there.
“He’s really responded well in the last month and has scored a bunch of goals for us,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Landon’s doing a great job. He does whatever we need to be better as a team and need to be successful on the night. He’s a terrific player.”
Still, Donovan is not hung up on his place on the table, both in the race for the 2011 Golden Boot or his place among the MLS pantheon of goalscorers.
“It’s a long season,” Donovan said. “If I still have seven at the end of the year, it’s not going to matter. Let’s hope it keeps going.”