Top Stories

SBI MLS Player of the Week/Weak


It is rare to find a performance so thoroughly dominant that it overshadows the kind of games we saw this weekend, but Landon Donovan had that sort of performance.

The Los Angeles Galaxy forward had THREE goals and an assist in the Galaxy’s 5-2 thrashing of Chivas USA on Saturday, upping his goal total to eight (which according to Max Bretos puts Donovan on pace for 225 career goals).

Donovan earns MLS Player of the Week honors in a week where there were a half-dozen deserving candidates. Among them were Toronto midfielder Amado Guevara, for his two-goal effort against Kansas City, Chicago midfielder John Thorrington for his brace against Colorado, and Crew goalkeeper Wil Hesmer for his stellar performance against Houston.

Choosing Player of the WEAK was much tougher this week. One team stood out above all others, with one player continuing what has been a nightmarish start to the season.


Brad Guzan is this week’s Player of the Weak. Yes, I know, it could have been a shared award with his defense, which played like striped traffic cones on Saturday, but Guzan’s terrible play on what wound up being Alan Gordon’s first goal opened the floodgates for the Galaxy.

Here is the play:

Yes, that was Guzan attempting to basket catch a high ball in the area, oblivious to the presence of Gordon underneath him. The subsequent goal was the first of three unanswered for the Galaxy.

Whether it is the disappointment of seeing his move to Aston Villa fall through, or the realization that he will likely have to settle for a much smaller club when he leaves this summer, something is distracting Guzan. I haven’t seen a player this affected by a failed transfer since Clint Mathis mailed in the rest of the 2002 season with the MetroStars after having MLS turn down a transfer offer from Bayern Munich.

Dishonorable mention for Player of the Weak goes to the following players: the entire Chivas USA Defense, Abel Xavier, Carey Talley and Facundo Erpen.

What do you think of the choices? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Wouldn’t it just be easier to re-name the Player of the Weak award after Abel Xavier, so you wouldn’t have to list him every week?

  2. Donovan now has 72 MLS goals and 62 assists. his goals scored puts him in tenth all time, and 6th among active players. he’s 7 behind Preki for the 9th spot.

    MLS doesn’t post assist totals past 10th place on the web, but Jason Kreis in in tenth with 74, so Landy must be in the top 20 for that as well.

    tables are here, by the way:

  3. Abel Xavier has not played more than 15 matches for any of his last 6 teams for a reason, it would appear.

    Deal Carlos Ruiz for Andy Iro, Galaxy.

    Or something.

  4. Ives, Ive got to agree with this 100%. I was thinking about Guzan while watching that game and he was just horrible.

    Of course Abel Xavier has to be in the lead for Weak player of the year.

  5. Guzan was dreadful and I’m to be counted amongst his supporters. (He’ll rebound though, count on it.)

    Abel Xavier though? Eeesh. Send that guy home. First Kljestan relieves him of his jock… but we’ll let that one slide. What on earth was the whiff that went on to set up the Razov goal though? The guy is seriously past his sell by date.

  6. re LD’s goals this season:

    It’s SOOOOOOOOOO friggin’ gratifying to see Landon score legit goal after legit goal that doesn’t involve him snogging his forearms before each pk:

    Most of Landycakes strikes have been class and quite delightful to witness. If he keeps it up at LA, whilst simultaneously transferring aforementioned goal-scoring prowess to the USMNT, he will undoubtedly silence a large percentage of his critics. (Most ridiculously superfluous sentence ever written? Nah, but close).

    As an USMNT fan, I fully support LD’s monumental start this season.

  7. Brian-I’ll second that appreciation of Carey Talley’s inclusion in the list. With so many talented midfielders, why did Kreis keep him in the game? I guess seniority counts for something, but he needs to ride bench for the rest of the season.

  8. Tonerl – I started the Landon-with-his-left thing. I’m an LD defender, and he scores closer in with his left, but I definitely don’t associate him with outside the box goals with his left. I’m very happy to see him hit it, he just turned 26, he still should be getting better.

    I wouldn’t call goal 1 a blast, but it was still well hit, and the reason it wasn’t Guzon’s fault hard to stop was that it bounced even with Guzon’s feet. That’s why the teach you to shoot low, if it’s at waist height he was there and it’s blocked, but most keepers aren’t going to get that far over and low.

  9. Thank you IVES!

    Guzan is a total disaster… Villa should be counting there blessing his work permit didn’t go through.

  10. Ives, good choices. Donovan is playing very impressive ball. 8 goals in 5 games is sick! I don’t buy Bretos’s math, but still most of the goals he’s scored have not been flukey or poacher goals. And some are definite highlight reel scores. Bravo Donovan!

    Guzano… is becoming the Chad Barrett of MLS goalkeepers. Bad plan, G.

  11. I like to see Landycakes pull some of his crap in Scotland. (Not that he would go there.) That would be totally sweet.

  12. Tonerl

    I was going to be nastier and tell Byron that he needs to actually watch a player to form an opinion about him, but I decided to be nice.

  13. just watched the derby/arsenal game. feilhaber played the last 30 minutes or so. he didn’t do much except float around waiting for something to happen instead of being aggressive. pretty frustrating to watch.

  14. Guzan got popped in the lip at the end of his first season and had to get surgery on his lip and the lump has never gone away.

  15. Brad Guzan is in serious need of some work with a sports psychologist. He’s being humiliated. 13 goals allowed in 5 games! I know he may be short some quality defenders but some of his errors were totally mental breakdowns and not defensive errors.

    And as for LA…what can you say?

    Their run at the end of last season was truly impressive and almost went to the playoffs coming from nowhere! You can’t deny. SO far the way that L.D. is playing…he’s inspired. I think he’s moving on after this season. He’s increasing his transfer value all the time.

    Next question will lalas and MLS block it?

  16. Byron, I have no idea what you are looking at, and I must agree with Tony. Donovan does score with his left quite frequently. He’s a pretty good player, you know.

  17. Yeah, I’m waiting for the day that somebody scores a hat trick on opening day with Bretos calling the game so he can tell us that said player is on pace for 90 goals.

  18. IVES,

    I know Landon has made some comments that he may want to go back to Europe and give it another shot. Do you see his recent form as adding substance to his claims?

    In my opinion, it would take a Cristiano Ronaldo like season to stir up interest from mid-sized to big clubs, but I bet a small club would love to have. Landon must be better than Shaun Wright-Phillips and Hameur Bouazza. Landon’s probably on par with Stephen Ireland, but Ireland is only 19 and I think Landon is a more complete player anyway.

  19. RE: Donovan’s first goal (left footed just outside the 18)

    On fist look I was shocked that he was capable of scoring with his left foot. But then from the replay it looked like it was going to go well wide of the goal and took a deflection. Wasn’t well struck at all.

  20. WOW! Guzan poweak. There is less chance of that happening again then there is of:

    1) Alan Gordon scoring another brace.

    2) Eddie Johnson actually taking on a defender.

    3) An American keeper in the EPL with hair.

    4) MLS signing another American from the Chilean first division.

    5) An MLS team beating Pachuca in a 2 game aggregate series this decade.

    6) New England Revoultion winning MLS Cup.

    7) Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi again.

    8) Georgio Chinaglia giving credit where credit’s due.

    9) Abel Xavier keeping one hair style for more than 2 weeks.

    10) Michael Jordan endorsing anything but Hanes.

  21. I’m a big Galaxy fan, and i am so stoked you put Abel Xavier as a canidate from player of the weak!

    He is terrible! the colorado loss was 75% his fault, last weeks second goal by houston was because he didn’t mark the man

    AND both goals this week were his fault!!!

    He didn’t mark klejstan (as much as chivas hater i am, i must say Klejstan is the next Big thing!) and completely missed the clearence that my junior high students could make, that led to the 2nd goal! He needs to go, so we can sign another sean franklin!!!

  22. Can the Chivas bench get a nomination?

    Preki and Co. need to grow thicker skins.

    What’s up with all the whining whenver they play LA? I know you have to pay rent to those boys but at 5-2 the chip has already been knocked off your shoulder so sit down and shut-up!

  23. Ives,

    Did you go for the goofiest picture of Lando you could find….Wow, the man looks like he’s pretending to be an ape.

    Good choices though for week/weak.

  24. No argument on either choice. El Guzano was bad enough to make Alan Gordon look good, and that’s enough for me (he should have had BOTH of Gordon’s goals). Which reminds me, Chivas fans – ditch Braun, he’s the first forward we’ve seen all year that Xavier could keep up with. Bad sign.

    For Donovan, I’d just add one thing I haven’t seen written yet about his night. I was really impressed that his first goal was with the left, I’ve always thought he was too right footed. I think the 3rd was too? Good for him to improve.

  25. “Wil Hesmer for his stellar performance against Columbus”

    That’s classic, Ives.

    Also, does anyone know what’s up with Guzan’s lip? It always looks like he just took a right hook from someone…

  26. Donovan and Guzman are perfect choices.

    Bretos math… that was agonizing to hear. Missing in his logic is that once Ruiz comes back, he will be the point guy, not Donovan. Besides, doing math like that after a hat-trick is nuts.

  27. Guzan was not that weak – entire Chivas USA Defense, would have been a proper choice. Watch the positioning on (from recollection) 2 of donovan’s goals. Absurdity – 1 defender playing donovan 3-5 standing watching (not even marking ..just watching).


Leave a Reply to Amit Cancel reply