WASHINGTON, August 13, 2012 - No David Beckham. No problem. Enter Landon Donovan.
While Los Angeles Galaxy star midfielder David Beckham was absent - watching his wife sing with the Spice Girls at the London Olympics - American ace Donovan took over as the Galaxy’s goal-making duties. Donovan set up four goals in the team’s 4-0 demolition of stadium-sharing rival Chivas USA on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
For his excellent play, Donovan was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 23 of the 2012 MLS season. This is the fourteenth time in his MLS career that Donovan has won the player-of-the-week honors. He now has 11 assists on the season, while Beckham has nine. Donovan also has nine goals this year to Beckham’s six.
Donovan is just the fourth player in MLS to record four assists in a game joining an elite group that includes Carlos Valderrama, Chris Henderson, and Dwayne De Rosario.
On L.A.’s first goal, Donovan traded passes with Irish star Robbie Keane. Chivas’ talented goalie Dan Kennedy came off his line to disrupt the play, but Donovan sent the ball back to Keane who was sprinting toward the penalty spot. Keane sent a low shot into the back of the net from six yards out for his tenth goal of the campaign. Despite the scoreline, Kennedy actually had a remarkable game.
In the 64th minute Donovan found Juninho with a pass to the top of the box. The Brazilian, back in fine form, fired a shot in the top right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Ten minutes later, Donovan again found Juninho who tapped in a simple shot to make it 3-0 and his third on the season.
Donovan, who is set to face Mexico with the U.S. team on Wednesday, capped off the night sending a corner kick to former Terp Omar Gonzalez who headed the Galaxy’s fourth and final goal of the game.
* For over 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon
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