When the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Seattle Sounders this weekend in Major League Soccer action, two of the biggest stars in United States men’s national team history will be on opposite sides of the pitch.
For the Sounders, their pursuit of the Supporters Shield will certainly be tested against the two-time MLS Cup Champions the Los Angeles Galaxy who, in addition to Donovan, boast plenty of other studs like Irish striker Robbie Keane and American center-back Omar Gonzalez.
Despite the gravity of the game for both clubs, many U.S. eyes will be firmly focused on Donovan and Dempsey, two of most electric footballers in American soccer history. This weekend’s game marks the first time these two players will be facing each other as opponents since 2012, when Dempsey played for Fulham and Donovan was on loan for Everton in the English Premier League.
Donovan got the better of Dempsey on the day, setting up Everton’s two goals to help secure a 2-1 victory.
In preparation for the match, here is a look at some of their career statistics for both club and country.
In terms of international statistics, “LD” tops “Deuce” with more appearances, goals and assists.
This is no knock on Dempsey, though, as Donovan is the all-time U.S. soccer leader in both goals scored (57) and assists (57). The Texan is not so far behind in goals, having bagged 36 in 101 caps.
He is the second-most prolific scorer in U.S. soccer history.
Indeed, in terms of goals per cap, Dempsey is just behind the California native, having secured a goal every 0.36 caps to Donovan’s 0.37 goals-to-caps ratio.
Historical MLS stats favor Donovan as well. “LD” continues to loom closer to breaking the all-time MLS goals record set by Jeff Cunningham. Donovan has 132 and is just two behind the aforementioned Cunningham’s record of 134.
Dempsey was no slouch during his early MLS days with the New England Revolution and will surely add to his goal (25) and assist (14) totals in his upcoming years with the Seattle Sounders.
He likely will not catch Donovan in the MLS record books, but Dempsey’s numbers speak for themselves in regard to what he produced in the English Premier League.
During Dempsey’s years at Fulham, he was a consistent goal scorer. Indeed, throughout his time spent as a Cottager the Nacogdoches, Texas native bagged 50 goals in 184 league appearances.
Perhaps even more impressively, Dempsey was tied for fourth in most goals in the English Premier League in 2011-12, notching 17 total in that season’s domestic campaign. He only trailed Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero that year in goals—solid company to say the least for Clint Dempsey.
He also became the first American to score a hat-trick in a Premier League match when he helped ensure a 5-2 Fulham victory over Newcastle in 2012.
Donovan has twice spent time in the Premier League for Everton; however, both occasions were during short loan stints. Despite two scant stays, Donovan made his presence known in 2011-12 when he contributed three assists in seven Premier League appearances for the Toffeemen and in 2009-10 when he chipped in two goals and three assists in seven English Premier League appearances.
This weekend’s clash will certainly be an enjoyable one for MLS and U.S. fans alike. With Donovan well within the grasp of etching his name in the MLS record books, it will be of particular intrigue to see how he performs.
Who has the more impressive career stats, Donovan or Dempsey?