Between them they have 233 regular season goals in MLS, having shared the same locker room, enjoyed tears and triumphs together and clocked up a combined total of 45,222 minutes of playing time.
Both aged 32, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan both sit on the verge of personal milestones heading into this Saturday's encounter between the Colorado Rapids and the LA Galaxy, kick-off 7pm at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (TICKETS).
Buddle, who notched 45 of his 99 regular season goals during a five-year spell with the Galaxy, is one short of becoming only the eighth player in MLS history to reach the century mark. He scored his 99th goal during the 1-0 win at Toronto FC on April 12 (pictured below).
MLS top scorers:
- Jeff Cunningham = 134 goals
- Landon Donovan = 134*
- Jaime Moreno = 133
- Ante Razov = 114
- Jason Kreis = 108
- Dwayne De Rosario = 103*
- Taylor Twellman = 101
- Edson Buddle = 99*
* Still active in MLS
Donovan, on the other hand, sits on a record-equaling 134 goals, alongside former Rapids striker Jeff Cunningham. Cunningham scored 12 of his record haul during his one season in Colorado (2005).
Both Buddle and Donovan joined MLS in 2001, scoring their maiden MLS goals just three days apart. Buddle was the first to find the net, scoring for Columbus Crew in a 2-1 loss to New England Revolution on May 16, 2001. Donovan opened his impressive account on May 19, in a 2-0 win for the San Jose Earthquakes over the Metrostars.
"It'd be good for him (Donovan) to get the record out of the way, so that people aren't talking about it as much," Buddle said. "And for myself, the same, just to get to that 100 mark and move on, and slowly get more goals."
Buddle's best season came in 2010, when with LA. He scored 17 goals that year. For Donovan, his most fruitful campaign came two years earlier when he struck 20 goals. The pair, who featured at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the USA, boast 587 MLS games between them, across a combined total of 27 seasons. And, in all that time, neither player has ever been sent off.
"He's (Donovan) always been a fit player," Buddle explained. "I think that's what separates him from everyone, and once he worked on his technical ability I think he slowly climbed above the rest."
Two great servants of MLS will take to the field on Saturday, both keen for a team victory, but knowing that there is personal glory to be had as well.
Edson Buddle stats:
First goal came in a 2-1 loss to New England Revolution on May 16, 2001.
279 games played
212 games started
18,827 minutes played
99 goals … 45 of these while with LA Galaxy
Landon Donovan stats:
First goal came on May 19, 2001 in a 2-0 home win for the San Jose Earthquakes, over the Metrostars, at Spartan Stadium.
308 games played
288 games started
26,395 minutes played
134 goals … also scored 22 goals in the postseason