In a week with two rounds worth of games and honor-worthy performances, United States international and 11-time MLS All-Star Landon Donovan was an overwhelming choice as the MLS Player of the Week after tallying three goals and an assist in a pair of big victories on the week.
It all started on the road Wednesday against league-leading Real Salt Lake, which had taken a two-goal lead 24 minutes into the contest. Donovan would lead the struggling defending champions in an amazing rally with two goals and assist, sparking the comeback by intercepting a poor back pass just before the half-hour mark and driving on goal to beat Nick Rimando.
Five minutes into the second half Donovan turned provider for the equalizer, finding Mike Magee, who would return the favor in the 68th for the game-winning strike.
After having suffered through a seven-game winless run (0-5-2), the Galaxy picked up a third consecutive victory Saturday with a dominating performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps in a 3-0 victory. A shot from Donovan 16 minutes in was knocked away by goalkeeper Joe Cannon, but the ball fell to Magee, who tapped in the rebound for his second of the week.
A perfectly threaded ball from Donovan at the half-hour mark allowed Robbie Keane to slip through a small crack in the defense and fire a 10-yard strike past Cannon to double the advantage. A minute later Donovan nearly duplicated his opening goal at RSL when he picked off another errant pass only to see his effort ring off the post. Five minutes later, however, a handball by Jay DeMerit on a shot from Keane sent Donovan to the spot, putting the match well out of reach.
Donovan took the honor with 15 votes among the 22 ballots cast this week. Brandon Barklage received four votes and Alan Gordon two in a week that saw seven players score at least two goals.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected each week of the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More details and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
Wednesday vs Real Salt Lake
How They Voted:
|Voter||First Choice||Second Choice|
|Dan Girard||Alan Gordon (SJ)||Danny Koevermans (TOR)|
|Jose Romero||Alan Gordon (SJ)||Landon Donovan (LA)|
|Orrin Schwartz||Brandon Barklage (NY)||Jack McInerney (PHI)|
|Frank Giase||Brandon Barklage (NY)||Landon Donovan (LA)|
|Buzz Carrick||Brandon Barklage (NY)||David Horst (POR)|
|Michael Lewis||Brandon Barklage (NY)||Landon Donovan (LA)|
|Lisa Eisenmenger||Danny Koevermans (TOR)||Jack McInerney (PHI)|
|Jonathan Tannenwald||Landon Donovan (LA)||Felipe Martins (MTL)|
|Scott French||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|JP Dellacamera||Landon Donovan (LA)||Chris Wondolowski (SJ)|
|Don Ruiz||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|Gerald Barnhart||Landon Donovan (LA)||Danny Koevermans (TOR)|
|Bobby McMahon||Landon Donovan (LA)||Danny Koevermans (TOR)|
|Beau Dure||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|Phil Schoen||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|Jonah Freedman||Landon Donovan (LA)||Alan Gordon (SJ)|
|Adam Jardy||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|Tom Timmermann||Landon Donovan (LA)||Will Bruin (HOU)|
|Marc Connolly||Landon Donovan (LA)||Brandon Barklage (NY)|
|Steven Sandor||Landon Donovan (LA)||Benny Feilhaber (NE)|
|Philippe Germaine||Landon Donovan (LA)||Dan Kennedy (CHV)|
|Paul Attfield||Landon Donovan (LA)||Alan Gordon (SJ)|
What They Said:
Paul Attfield (Globe and Mail): “The Galaxy enjoyed their best week of the season thus far, and Donovan was front and centre for the return to form, registering three goals and two assists as the defending champions get back on track.”
Philipe Germaine (Soccerplus.ca/World Soccer Magazine): “Landon was very productive with three goals and two assists in two matches, including the game-winning goal in the comeback victory over RSL on Wednesday. LA is very much in the mix for a playoff spot after a lacklustre start and they have to thank Donovan for it.”
Jonah Freedman (mlssoccer.com): “It should have been four goals and three assists for Donovan this past week, but Galaxy fans will make due with two and three — this is the LD we’ve been missing all season so far, the fiery guy who only wants to move in one direction on that field. Welcome back, Landon.”
Beau Dure: “Donovan, over the course of two games, had three goals, two assists and enough Chalkboard stats to make Bart Simpson write ‘I will not doubt Landon Donovan again’ throughout The Simpsons’ opening credits.”