Background: Regardless of what you think of Landon Donovan (i.e. pouty & overrated), he deserves his place on this list. He’s probably the most prolific scorer in league history, and when he is properly motivated he is basically unstoppable. No one knows if he will play in the league much longer, but even if he doesn’t, he’s already in the HOF.
Career: Donovan has only played for two MLS teams, the Quakes and the Gals. Why would San Jose ever let him go? Well, the Gals got him from SJE under some of the shadiest circumstances in league history (Lalas gave him away for nothing). Despite playing in only a pittance more than 200 games, he has almost 100 goals and that total is growing.
Honors: Donovan is 6th in goals all-time even though he has taken far fewer shots than the five men in front of him. He has also been clutch in the postseason, as he is the league’s 2nd all-time playoff goals leader (14) and has a record 4 multi-goal playoff games. Plus, he’s got 2 Best XIs, 3 MLS Cups and he’s a member of the All-Time Best XI.
Legacy: Donovan is a first ballot MLS Hall of Famer because he, perhaps more than any other player, is responsible for the popularity of the league in America. Even folks who know little to nothing about soccer usually recognize Donovan. He’s also been perhaps the most prolific scorer in league history. What memorabilia will represent him?
How about a copy of the doc showing Lalas trading his rights to LA. Then, Alexi would (sort of) be in the HOF too.