Landon Donovan makes history as Galaxy defeat Philadelphia Union
CARSON,CALIFORNIA (BDCi) — Landon Donovan made history in his return to the LA Galaxy, pushing past Jeff Cunningham to take sole possession of Major League Soccer’s career goal-scoring record in an emphatic 4-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Union.
Donovan went ahead of Cunningham in the 49th minute Sunday at StubHub Center, a simple finish on a pass from Robbie Keane on a counterattack, for his 135th career regular season goal. He scored another in the 81st minute and departed to a standing ovation a minute later.
It was his first two goals of the season and arrived just two days after USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann controversially omitted the 32-year-old star from the final World Cup roster. Donovan had pulled even with Cunningham last October.
Leonardo, from a Donovan free kick and Robbie Keane also scored for the Galaxy, who posted back-to-back victories for just the second time this season.
Maurice Edu, also among those trimmed from Klinsman’s 30-man preliminary roster, scored for Philadelphia, converting an 88th minute penalty kick after Raul Mendiola fouled Zach Pfeffer.
The Union lost their second in a row and fifth in their last six games. They have won just once in their last 12 outings.
With Donovan back, the Galaxy made three changes from their victory Wednesday against FC Dallas. Donovan stepped in next to Keane up top and Baggio Husidic moved back to midfield with Stefan Ishizaki going to the bench as LA stuck with a 4-4-2 formation for the second straight game. Leonardo returned to the backline with Tommy Meyer in the middle and Kofi Opare returned to the bench.
Donovan made an impact right from the start, delivering a 40-yard free kick from the right flank that Leonardo- back on the field after sitting on the bench the past two games after surgery on a broken finger-nodded past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath after finding space behind Amobi Okugo at the six-yard box.
Donovan tallied on a counterattack, feeding Keane on the right side, then sprinting toward the left post for the return pass. The Irishman delivered after he got to the box and the finish was easy.
Donovan made it 4-0 in the 81st minute with another give and go with Keane.
The Galaxy play at Chicago on Sunday and then get a two week break for World Cup after a June 8 SuperClasico against Chivas USA. Philadelphia stays in Southern California for a match Saturday against Chivas USA then are at home against Vancouver on June 7 before the break.