Showing some brotherly love to the career of Landon Donovan, a certified USMNT #LegenD

 

Friday will mark the end of Landon Donovan’s storied career with the United States men’s national team. American soccer fans, will say goodbye to arguably the greatest player to ever wear the red, white and blue.

But here in Philadelphia, those tears might be confused for joy. In just seven career games against the Union, Donovan scored four goals and had four assists as his teams took 16 of the possible 21 points (5-1-1).

But the memories for Philly fans aren’t all bad. Donovan also played in two international games at Lincoln Financial Field, helping the team to 1-0-1 record.

Here’s a look at Donovan’s top five moments in Philadelphia or against the Union. Be sure to watch his testimonial match Friday night when the U.S. team takes on Ecuador (7 p.m., ESPN).

5. Helps U.S. men draw in Jurgen Klinsmann’s debut

When: Aug. 10, 2011

Game: USMNT vs. Mexico, International Friendly

Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field

Donovan’s second (and final) appearance in Philadelphia as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team came in Jurgen Klinsmann’s American coaching debut. Facing archrival Mexico for the first time since a 4-2 drubbing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final just two months earlier, fans across the Delaware Valley – and the country – were eager to see a new, free-flowing American attack.

With 30,138 fans on hand at the Linc, the United States fell behind 1-0 as Oribe Peralta scored in the 17th minute. Robbie Rogers equalized for the U.S. in the 73rd minute, ultimately leading to the 1-1 final score.

Although Donovan was not on the score sheet, he sent two magnificent balls into the six-yard box during the game. The first came in the sixth minute and just barely missed a sliding Jermaine Jones. The second came on a corner kick in the 57th minute that Carlos Bocanegra headed on target, only to be saved by Guillermo Ochoa.

4. First goal at PPL Park

When: May 11, 2011

Game: Galaxy at Union, MLS Regular Season

Stadium: PPL Park

After being essentially held in check in each of his first three appearances against the Union (no goals, one assist) Donovan broke through in a big way during an early-season affair for the two teams. In a scoreless game in the 24th minute, Donovan deftly played a one-touch pass to a streaking Juan Pablo Angel where the Union defense intervened. However, with the ball momentarily sitting free near the spot, Donovan calmly beat Union keeper Faryd Mondragon for an early lead. It was the boost the Galaxy needed to secure a point on the road during a 1-1 tie.

3. Two assists in first appearance in Philadelphia

When: May 29, 2010

Game: USMNT vs. Turkey, International Friendly

Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field

Despite Donovan’s long national-team career, his first appearance in Philadelphia came just a few years ago during the 2010 World Cup send-off series. With one tune-up left before the World Cup, the U.S. needed some sense of urgency after trailing 1-0 at halftime.

That came in the 58th minute as Donovan made a deep run and latched onto a ball from Robbie Findley before he squared up a tap-in for Jozy Altidore for the equalizer.

The U.S. then took the lead in the 75th minute, again thanks to Donovan, as he took a throw-in and stretched the defense with a run into the midfield. He then set up Clint Dempsey for the eventual game-winner.

2. Four-point game at PPL Park

When: May 15, 2013

Game: Galaxy at Union, MLS Regular Season

Stadium: PPL Park

Similar to 2011, the Galaxy were off to a quick-start despite the cross-country trip. In just the third minute, Donovan took a corner and placed it directly into the six-yard box resulting in a Zac MacMath own goal. Obviously, Donovan wasn’t credited with a point, but his night was just beginning.

The Union equalized with Amobi Okugo heading home a goal in the 40th minute, but Donovan took complete control in the last half-hour. It started in the 71st as he easily set up Robbie Keane with a through ball for the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner.

Donovan then picked up his second assist by setting up another wide-open player. This time it was Hector Jimenez who had the whole net to work with and slotted one past a diving MacMath.

With the Union pushing forward for a goal, Donovan finished off his breakout night in the 87th minute as he and Robbie Keane were on the break. Donovan took a through ball and side-stepped MacMath for an easy tap in.

1. Donovan sets all-time MLS goal record

When: May 25, 2014 

Game: Union at Galaxy, MLS Regular Season

Stadium: StubHub Center

Just days after being left off the 2014 World Cup roster, Donovan cemented his legacy at home in Los Angeles against the Union. Barring a meeting in the 2014 MLS Cup, Donovan’s final game against the Union was just as big of torment as the previous six. This time it was a five-point night that started with an assist in the second minute on a Leonardo goal.

But of course, this is all about the record breaker. He scored his 135th career goal in the 49th minute to break Jeff Cunningham’s record putting the Galaxy up 2-0.

He then finished off his night to put the Galaxy up 4-0, by scoring his 136th goal in the 81st minute.

Look, you have to give credit when it's due and this situation, we are talking about a #LegenD, so it's a no-brainer...regardless of expense.

Contact Union writer Chris Winkler at cwinkler@philadelphiaunion.com

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