By MIKE DONOVAN
When Landon Donovan found Robbie Keane for the Irishman’s second goal of Sunday’s 4-0 romp of the New York Red Bulls, he tied Steve Ralston’s career MLS assist record with 135 for his career.
With four games remaining in his regular season career, Donovan seems primed to pass Ralston for the outright career assists title.
But that isn’t the only record Donovan and other players could set as MLS enters its final month of the season. When the league expanded its season to 34 games prior to 2011, it opened up more opportunity for records to be broken and quite a few might fall in October.
Here is a look at some of the records that could fall:
BRADLEY WRIGHT PHILLIPS – Single-Season Scoring Record
Wright-Phillips needs three goals to tie Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski with 27 goals in a single season. And RBNY might need Wright-Phillips to continue his torrid pace if they are to qualify for the postseason, currently sitting one point clear of Toronto FC.
This is the second time in his professional career that the English striker has netted 20-plus goals in a season, as he scored 22 goals for Charlton Athletic in the 2011-2012 season.
This season, Wright-Phillips has shown a penchant for scoring goals in bunches, as he is the league leader multi-goal games (tied with Dom Dwyer with five) and leads MLS in hat tricks with three. Chasing the goalscoring record is a far cry from the beginning of the year when he didn’t even start in RBNY’s season-opening loss to Vancouver.
LANDON DONOVAN – Career Assist Record, Career Most Home Goals
While we already talked about the assist record, one record that Donovan could set that has not been mentioned is the career home goalscoring mark. Already having the most total goals in a career and the most away goals in a career, Donovan currently finds himself one goal behind MLS legend Jaime Moreno for most goals scored at home for a career.
Donovan has two more home games this season, the first of which is a clash with his U.S. teammate Michael Bradley and Toronto FC. If Donovan can’t catch Moreno in that game, it will come down to the Galaxy’s home finale against the Seattle Sounders. And that won’t be the only record that could fall during LA’s home tilt with Seattle.
LA GALAXY – Home Goal Difference
While it seems highly unlikely that this season’s squad will catch the 1998 Galaxy for the best goal difference in league history at the mind-boggling +41 (Currently LA is +32). The club has a very good chance at becoming the best home team in league history in terms of GD.
Led by an array of offensive weapons including Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Gyasi Zardes and solid defending in the back, the Galaxy currently have a goal difference in matches at the StubHub Center of +27. The current highest home GD in league history is +24, set by Real Salt Lake in 2010 and matched by the Galaxy last season.
DIEGO CHARA – Single-Season Most Fouls Committed
Now in his fourth season in MLS, Chara has continued to make his presence felt in the Timbers midfield with his array of tackles. On numerous occasions, Chara has tracked back to stop an opponent’s counter attack, sometimes getting a piece of the opponent in the process.
Chara, who is second in the league for most tackles, is way outfront for most fouls committed having been called for 75 in 2014. This leaves him just eight shy of the record of 83, which is held by Diego Serna (2000) and Juan Toja (2007). Chara has increased his foul total in each of his four seasons with the Timbers.
DAVY ARNAUD – Career Most Fouls Suffered
A major force in D.C. United’s turnaround from last season has been Arnaud, who has made a career out of being fouled. The one-time MLS all-star has been fouled 694 times in his career, which is nine fewer than than the 703 times Jaime Moreno was fouled in his 15 seasons in MLS.
In recent matches, the D.C. midfielder has rarely been fouled more than twice in a match, however, considering he was once fouled 10 times in a single match, Moreno’s record could fall this month.
DAN KENNEDY/CHIVAS USA – Single-Season Most Losses/Most Goals Conceded
As the Chivas USA era comes to an end, the club and their goalkeeper will be looking to avoid two marks of futility. This season, Kennedy has started in 17 losses, which matches his total from last season. Matt Pickens currently holds the record for most losses by a goalkeeper at 19, a record that Kennedy will look to avoid setting as his team plays its final four matches.
It’s not just Kennedy who might set a record for futility with Chivas USA looking to avoid the mark set by the 1998 Colorado Rapids for goals allowed in one season. Colorado, who made the playoffs that year, conceded 69 goals, while this year’s Chivas USA squad has allowed 58. If the Goats conceded an average of three goals per match in their final stretch, they will find themselves at the top of the list.
What do you think of think of these records? Which records do you see being broken in October?
Share your thoughts below.