International Goalscoring Pace: Donovan, Dempsey, and Altidore

Some time back, I made a simple figure displaying line plots of total goals as a function of number of caps for Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. These plots show their respective international goalscoring paces and illustrate nicely that Dempsey and Donovan dramatically diverged somewhere around the 112 cap mark.

Even back then, I wanted to include more players in this figure, both current players and players from the past. However, I could not find any tables or other sources that broke down other players' goalscoring by individual game let alone by particular cap. But tonight I stumbled upon this useful table of Jozy Altidore's goals for the USMNT, which broke down his goalscoring by individual game rather than by year. Unfortunately, that same website did not include complete tables for Eric Wynalda or Brian McBride, the other two USMNT players with at least 30 career goals. Using the data from and the tables from Wikipedia that I used before, I was able to generate this figure of the international goalscoring paces of Donovan, Dempsey, AND Altidore:

(click to enlarge)

I didn't realize that Altidore is ahead of where Donovan and Dempsey were at the same number of caps. Indeed, Alitdore has been ahead of both of them since about the 77th cap mark. However, a recent relative scoring drought (7 games and counting) has dragged Altidore's pace back to those of Donovan and Dempsey. Another couple of games without a goal and Altidore will drop into third place.

I'll keep looking for a suitable source for the data for Wynalda and McBride. I'm very curious to see how all five of these players stack up.


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