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Galaxy's Landon Donovan nears MLS record

October 17, 2008 |  6:45 pm

Landon Donovan, right, and New England Revolution's Gabriel Badilla watch as Donovan's shot enters the net.

In his eight seasons in Major League Soccer, Landon Donovan has won three league championships, scored 97 goals and assisted on 76 others in 199 regular-season and playoff games.

On Saturday, Donovan will play his 200th league game, and the 26-year-old forward is on the verge of accomplishing something that no other MLS player has ever achieved -- a 20-goal, 10-assist season

Going into Saturday's game against the Dynamo in Houston, Donovan has 19 goals and nine assists.

In the league's 13-season history, while many players have scored more than 20 goals in a season, and many have gotten more than 10 assists, no one has achieved the "double double."

Coming closest were current Chivas USA Coach Preki with 18 goals and 13 assists in 1996; Cobi Jones with 19 and 13 in 1998; Roy Lassiter and Raul Diaz Arce, each with 18 and eight in 1998; Jason Kreis with 18 and 15 in 1999; Lassiter with 18 and 11 (and again in 1999), and Alex Pineda Chacon with 19 and nine in 2001.

If he gets to 20 goals, Donovan would become only the third player in Galaxy history to do so, following Eduardo "El Tanque" Hurtado, who scored 21 in 1996, and Carlos Ruiz, who scored 24 in 2002.

Only four Galaxy players have reached double figues in goals and assists in a single season: Donovan, with 12 goals and 10 assists in 2005, and the trio of Jones (19 and 13), Welton (17 and 11) and Mauricio Cienfuegos (13 and 16) all achieved in 1998.

Donovan has two games, or 180 minutes, to make a handful of records his own. The ball is at his feet.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: The Galaxy's Landon Donovan, right, and New England Revolution's Gabriel Badilla watch as Donovan's shot enters the net during an MLS soccer match on Aug. 30, 2008 in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press Photo

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