November 11, 2008
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Donovan wins Honda Award for fifth time
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan was named the 2008 Honda Player of the Year award, given to the best player with the U.S. National Team as voted upon by the national media.
This is the second consecutive year in which Donovan has won the award and the record fifth time during his career. In the 18 years since the Honda Player of the Year award was first given out, no player other than Donovan has won the award more than twice.
This year, 213 journalists across the nation selected Donovan, 26, as the recipient of this honor, awarding him a total of 297 points. Former MetroStars goalkeeper Tim Howard (249 points) and former New England Revolution forward Clint Dempsey (176 points) finished second and third respectively. A player receives three points for each first-place vote, two points for each second-place vote, and one point for each third-place vote. In order to be eligible for the Honda Player of the Year Award, a player must play in a minimum of three games for the U.S. National Team during the calendar year.
Donovan appeared in and started nine of the 13 games played so far this year by the U.S. National Team, scoring three goals and adding five assists. In his first game of the year for the U.S., Donovan scored the 35th international goal of his career, helping the U.S. to a 3-1 win over Sweden at The Home Depot Center. That goal moved Donovan, who won the 2008 MLS Budweiser Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer with 20 goals in 25 games, past Eric Wynalda as the all-time leading scorer in U.S. National Team history. He has since gone on to add a goal in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying win over Barbados at The Home Depot Center on June 15 and in the 6-1 win over Cuba at RFK Stadium in which the U.S. clinched its berth in the final round of World Cup Qualifying. With a career total of 37 goals in his 105 games with U.S. , Donovan is currently the most tenured player on the National Team.
Created by Fútbol de Primera and sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., the Honda Player of the Year Award has honored 12 different players in its 18 year history: Landon Donovan (2008, 2007, 2004, 2003 and 2002), Clint Dempsey (2006), Kasey Keller (2005, 1999), Earnie Stewart (2001), Claudio Reyna (2000), Cobi Jones (1998), Eddie Pope (1997), Eric Wynalda (1996, 1992), Alexi Lalas (1995), Marcelo Balboa (1994), Thomas Dooley (1993) and Hugo Perez (1991). In 2000 Eric Wynalda was named the Honda Player of the Decade.