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Galaxy's Chris Klein just kept going and going and going

September 30, 2009 | 10:58 am


It began on June 11, 2005, and ended last Saturday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio.

In between those two dates, Chris Klein played a Major League Soccer-record 141 consecutive games -- 21 for the Kansas City Wizards, 43 for Real Salt Lake and 77 for the Galaxy.

But when Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena failed to call on him in a 2-0 loss to the Crew, Klein's streak was over.

"It probably didn't get quite as much attention as it deserved," said teammate Eddie Lewis, who was among the first to congratulate Klein on his remarkable run. "It's just an incredible feat."

Landon Donovan, who holds a few records of his own, said Klein's professionalism was behind the streak.

"Obviously, part of it is genetics and being lucky," Donovan said, "because a lot of guys take care of themselves and still get hurt. But Chris is also a very good pro. He does the right things every day to get ready to train. A lot of guys don't, and they get injured."

During the streak, Klein, 33, also set an MLS record for consecutive games started with 118.

In regular-season games played, he is third overall in the league with 320, behind New England Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston with 378 and Kansas City and former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman with 329.

"After the game I was able to reflect on it," Klein said. "I'm proud of it. It's not something that I thought about every game or every day. It came to an end. I'm disappointed, [but] I thank God that I was able to stay healthy for this long."

Klein can start a new streak on Friday night when the Galaxy plays the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center.

"I hope to keep it going," he said. "The fire still burns inside of me as bright as it ever has, so I'm looking forward to the last three games and then trying to win a championship here."

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein is honored for playing in his 300th career regular-season MLS game along with his family, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena, right, and Galaxy president of business operations Tom Payne, left. Credit: Robert Mora / L.A. Galaxy.