CARSON, CA - AUGUST 01: Landon Donovan  of the Los Angeles Galaxy converts a penatly kick in the second half for his second goal of the game to make the score 2-3 against the Chicago Fire during their MLS match at The Home Depot Center on August 1, 2010 in Carson, California. The Fire defeated the Galaxy 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

I'm on Twitter if you somehow didn't know, constantly engaged in a rolling conversation on soccer (and other topics). During games, beyond the simple relating of events as they transpire or obvious opinions ("So-and-so should have done better there"), debates erupt spontaneously. This is the wonder of Twitter.

Landon Donovan's 100th MLS goal is a perfect example of how Twitter can spawn conversation; Donovan scored his century tally on a penalty last night in LA's loss to Chicago, a circumstance that led to some pretty strong pronouncements that doing so was unsporting. Per some Twitter friends, Donovan should have demurred, let a teammate take the kick, and waited to get his 100th on something from the run of play (though I wonder if the same thing would have been said if he scored from a free kick).

Because that's how Taylor Twellman did it, and Donovan sucks for taking the PK.

That may be just a bit unfair to my Revs fan friends who spurred the discussion with their "Taylor did it better" Tweets, but their sentiment wasn't too far from it. I have no problem with giving Donovan stick for getting his 100th the easy way, and Twellman is the only player to have scored 100 faster than Donovan; there's an element of homer-ism there, but it doesn't make the question any less interesting to me.

Should Donovan have let someone else take the penalty?

It honestly didn't occur to me until the Twitter proclamation was made; I simply took it for what it was, and Donovan is known for being the Galaxy's penalty-taker, so there was no immediate reaction on my part. After a bit of thought, I'm still not sure I care to color it unsporting. It's hard enough to score 100 goals, and many of Donovan's came through penalties; should those somehow count less because they didn't come from the run of play?

If you're a Revs fan, or don't value penalties, you likely view Donovan's feat less impressive than Twellman's. That's fair I suppose. I don't know how many penalties make up Twellman's 101 (I'm guessing not many), so perhaps that should be considered. Both worked hard, both are great players, so I'm not interested in rating one accomplishment over the other. You don't get to 100 goals by skating.

I'm guessing it never occurred to Donovan not to take the penalty, 100th goal or not. With a bit of spin, it could be that he just wanted to get it out of the way so that it didn't become any type of distraction to him or his team. Most likely he just stepped up because that's what he does; he takes penalties for the Galaxy, he's a confident player who knows he can get the job done, and he's a leader on a team that was reeling at the time. With the way the Galaxy have played, it's hard to blame him for taking control of the situation.

In perfect world, not down three goals at home and with zero pressure, it might be nice for a player to demur. Unfortunately, I don't know the circumstances of Twellman passing on the penalty that could have been his century. I do know that Twellman was hardly the Revs designated spot kick-taker at the time.

We have a tendency to foist our sporting morality on players without considering all of the factors involved, or sweeping the practical concerns aside. Usually, it's just about results and being a stand up guy is secondary or of no concern. Scoring the way he did doesn't make Donovan a bad guy, but it obviously gives a few people reason to criticize.

I'm very curious to see how many of you might agree with the Twellman-backers I interacted with last night.

So I put the question to you: Should Donovan have passed on the penalty? Vote below.

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