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Landon Donovan Exits Goodison in Everton Glory

Donovan wave 300x239 Landon Donovan Exits Goodison in Everton Glory

After Landon Donovan’s empathic goal at Goodison Park yesterday, he was carried by teammate Jack Rodwell into the corner nearer the crowd so he could receive the plaudits from the fans more directly.  That the crowd started chanting USA-USA-USA was not surprising.  English supporters have taken up the famous cheer to celebrate whenever an American player endears themselves to the local fans.  What was surprising is that the crowd was led in the cheer by Everton captain and English international Phil Neville. 

Donovan’s success at Everton, which capped off his last game at Goodison with that goal and a terrific assist to set up Jack Rodwell’s goal, is multi-layered.  American fans have long known that Donovan’s combination of speed and technical ability had no match in the States.  While David Beckham may have had the international spotlight shining on him this past season in MLS, it was Donovan who had driven the Galaxy within a penalty kick of the MLS Championship in 2009.  “Big fish in small pond” had been the Donovan rap for a long time.  But could Donovan be a big fish in the shark tank that is the EPL – arguably the fastest and toughest league in world?

To be truthful, the odds were against it.  Great players from great leagues usually take six months to adapt to the pace and style of England.  There is a long list of players (Schevchenko, Veron, Deco, just to name a few) who were thought to be superstars and never adapted to England.  With Donovan’s loan spell penciled in for just 75 days and critical games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal falling in that window, there was no time to get used to the water.  Donovan just had to dive in and start swimming. 

And swim he did.  Beyond the solid stats (three assists and two goals in eight league games) is the simple observation that Everton looked quicker and smoother with Donovan in the line-up.  Donovan’s loan has coincided with Everton’s best spell of the season – and perhaps for the past several seasons.  Victories over Chelsea, ManU, and City and an unlucky draw against Arsenal have seen Everton move through the most treacherous part of its schedule like an army on the march.  Today’s destruction of Hull means that Donovan will leave Merseyside helping Everton get three points every time he stepped on the Goodison pitch.

And the crown at Goodison has taken to Donovan as one of their own.  Facebook groups begging that he stay at Everton have attracted thousands of members.  The Toffee fans voted him the player of the month January.  After his goal, once the USA-USA chants subsided, they were replaced with chants of “Sign him up, sign him up!”

Given today’s performance, few in England can question why Donovan is so popular.  Americans playing in England have been respected at times, but that respect has usually sounded a little patronizing.  Brian McBride, Claudio Reyna and John Harkes have always been thought of as “industrious” players, which is a nice way of saying that they needed commitment and perseverance to make up for their lack of technical ability.  Nobody who watched Donovan’s goal and assist today can doubt his technical skills.  Both were one-touch actions off his laces that sent the ball back in the opposite direction from where it came with precision, pace and in such a way that left the defense helpless.

So, what now for Donovan?  Clearly, he wants to stay, and Everton wants to keep him.  While extending the loan remains a possibility, unless the current labor dispute between the MLS and its players blows up this week, that would seem to be unlikely.  The great mystery in all of this is the new contract Donovan signed with the Galaxy last fall.  At the time, Donovan said that going on loan in the January transfer window was an important part of the new contract, but left unsaid was whether there was a clause in the contract about a purchase should that loan be successful.  There is thought to be language that would allow Donovan to be sold at a certain valuation, but what that number is and whether the transfer window needs to open to accept that bid are unknown. 

However, whatever the contract says, in soccer when a player wants to go to a bigger club and the bigger club wants him, all contractual barriers can be overcome with money.  Thanks to the sales of Jolene Lescott and Andy Johnson, Everton have profited by over £28 million in the transfer market the last two seasons.  With the price for Donovan rumored to be at £6-10 million, the Toffees may very well have the funds available to snatch the American.  If so, Donovan’s wave from the center circle at the end of the game may be more “See you later” as opposed to “Farewell.”

84 Responses to Landon Donovan Exits Goodison in Everton Glory

  1. Tim says:

    The problem here is that the bigger team in a bigger city with bigger stars ( Becks and a ton if national team players) wants LD back and these eurosnobs who gave taken over the dialogue about soccer ( they call it football) in this country want Donovan to play for the smaller team. Many are against the US and would rather this guy stay in their beloved England. They have won too many battles recently. They have stopped JP or any other American from being on ESPN. They have worked to convince the masses that MLS does not matter, and that you should watch two teams from cities you have never visited instead from England. They have had enablers who claim to support the US soccer scene who actually promote Euro ideas and a theory that every player in MLS or USL should move abroad. They have tried to convince everyone that we need Euro coaches and need to use euro terminology like pitch, side, team sheet, etc. They have even attempted to destroy our oldest league, the highly successful USL by employing the former head of this site, who for years was a leading eurosnob.

    Enough is enough! The Galaxy must reject ANY offer from Everton.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Talk about paranoia. Sheesh.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Tim says:

        Gaffer, you’ve been one of the leaders of the movement, calling for English annoucers everywhere and converting Krishnaiyer from a fair stand towards MLS into a hater. His back and forth with you a few years ago about MLS vs EPL on TV was very telling. He fought for our cause, but within a year was a soldier in the opposing army. A defector who now is working from the inside to undermine MLS and USL.

        Richard Farley now writes for this site. He picked the US LAST IN A GROUP THAT INCLUDES SLOVENIA AND ALGERIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        He has ceded all objectivity and credibility with that write-up.

        If this were merely EPL Talk or MLS Talk with these problems we could say it is isolated and move on. But the masses now are saying “yeah, let’s watch the EPL in the morning cause MLS sux, and let’s go to bed early so we can watch Serie A and EPL on Sunday instead of walking down the street and supporting MLS, USL, PDL, NPSL, USASA or anything local.”

        These people have run rough shot over the sport in this country with this website merely aiding the cause. Things have to change, and that begins now by keeping Landon, where he belongs in our domestic league.

        • SSReporters says:

          Okay, suppose Landon continues to tear the MLS to shreds. The league is not one of the best in the world. Do we just keep him forever or wait until soccer suddenly becomes the in-thing in America and then release him?

        • SSReporters says:

          “calling for English annoucers everywhere”

          Which is weird, because The Gaffer called for FSC to use their own crummy commentators over the even worse UEFA world feed guys not too long ago. Good, solid, selective argument.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Tim, what are you talking about?? I’m the one who led the charge and stood up for American announcers by calling out ESPN for making a wrong decision. See http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/why-espn-needs-a-us-commentator-for-its-world-cup-tv-coverage/8345

          I’m sorry, but you and Billy think “we’re out to get MLS” when the reality is that whether it’s me, Farley, Krishnaiyer or others, we want the league to succeed but we’re not going to sit back and paint a false picture of the league. We’re going to praise it when it does well, and we’re going to point out what we feel can be improved.

          Where do you guys get this Kool Aid from where you think that everyone is out to get you??

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

        • I actually agree that a self hating nature does exist among some “American” soccer fans. However, your ire is incorrectly directed towards fans of the English game. We share a common language and a common heritage with the British Isles and crossover Prem/Football League fans are attracted to my league (NASL/USSF D2) and I am sure to MLS as well in greater numbers than the fans who focus on the two major Southern European leagues. I think many US based fans of the Spanish and Italian leagues are guilty of a snobbery and general hatred of American or Northern European products that undermines the positive, and unified growth of the game.

          Everyone should support their local team, otherwise they are doing a dis-service to the game in this country. I tend to agree with that sentiment. I believe this means you should support teams from MLS down to the USASA and NPSL including level on the pyramid in-between. Too many “fans” in this country do not support the development of local football/soccer. I cannot say I disagree with this. Where I am offended is by the continuing attacks on fans of the English game, when we are not the offenders in most cases.

          After the demise of the original NASL and before the APSL (now USSF D2/NASL) was really built out and playing at a high national level (1989 or so), I traveled to England to visit family and fell in love with MCFC, whom I had previously seen in a friendly here in Fort Lauderdale against the Strikers. I believe many other Americans have similar experiences, because England shares a common language and several aspects of our culture with us, and also is often the first and most frequent European destination for American tourists.

          I find the fans of Real Madrid and Juventus to be much less likely to embrace the American game than fans of Liverpool or Man United.

    • SSReporters says:

      The LA Galaxy is bigger than Everton. Think about that.

      LA Galaxy is bigger than say…..Stoke City, but not Everton.

      Thanks for the comic relief.

      • totoro says:

        Yeah, that was good. I gave him a thumbs up for the satire.

      • forweg says:

        Hahaha LA Galaxy is bigger than Stoke, who sell out their 30,000 seat stadium every week and have the loudest, most vociferous fans in the EPL? What a joke.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t even know where to begin…there is a reason Alex Ovechkin plays in the NHL, Dirk Nowitzki plays in the NBA, and Hideki Matsui plays in America’s MLB: they are the best leagues in the world, and thats where the best players go.

      I can’t understand how you think the Galaxy is a bigger club than Everton, who finished 5th in the Premier League last season. I would much rather MLS be the most dominant league in the world, but it just isn’t, and isn’t close. It wouldn’t do Baseball in the united states any good if Joe Mauer played AAA ball his whole life, hit .500 every season and threw every base runner out. For the same reasons it doesn’t do American soccer any good to have Landon running rampant in a league where he is literally head and shoulders above anyone else.

      I’m going to guess you were probably never much of an athlete, because if there is one thing all athletes understand it’s the desire to push yourself, to test yourself against the best. Here, Landon can be on cruise control, over there he’s surrounded by people who are as gifted as he is, and he’s still standing out, that’s something athletes live for.

      Yes, I do watch EPL on saturday mornings(i’m up that early anyway), and it’s often a much higher quality game. The truth knows no nationality. Doesn’t mean theres no use for the MLS, and i’m thrilled that it’s thriving, and hope it continues to grow, but i’m not a eurosnob for enjoying a better game, the same as i’m not a television snob because i’d rather watch cable tv than local access.

      • Where you finish in the Prem makes no difference to determine a “big club.” Wigan is a smaller club than many MLS teams (and perhaps smaller than two or three of the teams in the league I work for) and has been in the Premier League five straight years. Leeds is bigger than EVERY team in MLS and they are in the third flight of English Football currently.

        History, traveling support and finance are our guides as to what are truly “big clubs.”

        Is Everton bigger than the Galaxy? Yes, Everton has the most seasons in top flight football of any major European club. But is for example, Fulham which finished in a European position last year bigger than the Galaxy? That is highly debatable.

        • Dave says:

          I understand that, you’ll never hear my contend that Hull City are bigger than Newcastle because Hull stayed up last year. My reason for pointing out Evertons finishing spot last year was to transition to the next part of the paragraph regarding the difference in the quality of the leagues.

      • Charles says:

        I was/am an athlete, at a pretty high level too. While I agree with you, that you want to test yourself against the best, you also want to be in a situation where you have a chance to win and test yourself to see if you can. Everton does NOT offer that chance, they will never, ever even win EPL obviously.
        I am a huge soccer guy and I am up that early on Saturday AM too. Almost all the games are unwatchable. Why do I, or Landon, care if Everton finishes 10th or 5th ? Answer I don’t and he shouldn’t.

        The funny thing is the soccer geniuses don’t seem to be too excited about Chelsea ? That would say to me would be a reason to go.

        • SSReporters says:

          Yes, he should give up on winning the FA Cup and Europa League or even pushing for a top 4 spot to get into Champions League because Everton won’t be winning the PL.

        • Dave says:

          Everton doesn’t offer a chance to win and be tested? I’d certainly call their recent WINS over Man U, Man City, Chelsea pretty big wins, along with the draw against Arsenal in his first game. Everton also went to the finals of the FA Cup and lost a 1 goal game to Chelsea last year, as SSReporters alludes to, and were 9 points away from qualifying for Europe. I’m pretty sure those victories and close losses count as opportunities to win and play in more significant games than losing the MLS cup to Real Salt Lake.

          I’m sorry you feel the Premier league games are unwatchable, I’m not really sure why you feel that way but it’s a matter of personal preference, so I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t. It’s also up to you to not care if Everton win. I care whether they win because right now two of our best play for them. As for why should Landon care if Everton win? Quite easily, because he plays for them. Wayne Rooney is from Liverpool, not Manchester, but ask him if he cares if Man U wins.

          I’m not really sure what you mean by your last paragraph, I think a lot of people here get pretty excited by Chelsea, at least there were a lot of blue shirts at the Chelsea vs AC Milan game in Baltimore last year.

  2. Billy says:

    I agree Tim, and it is important to note the blatant disrespect European clubs show MLS in transfer dealing by making insulting offers always for players.

    The question is whether these eurosnobs really even know what goes on in MLS, D2, PDL or even down the street in their local AYSO or USASA league. They are totally detached from the US Soccer scene and many includingsome people who currently write and have previously written for this site will support England this summer.

    In reality, these people are traitors who should move to England. Krishnaiyer for his part is pro-Mexico and pro-Germany. If he went to Mexico, he’d probably be shot like that Paraguayan player and if he went to Germany he’d be treated like dog crap as an Indian. So he clings to the US where he finds a lot of support for his anti-Americanism from other “football” fans. Worse yet is Jamie Trecker who claims the only possible growth from the game will come from European “football.” Worse than both Trecker and Krishnaiyer are clowns on Sirius led by Charlie Stillitano who used to be in MLS and now rips it to pieces and talks up Italy and England.

    We have a self hating complex in America. Too many people want to seem sophiscticated by supporting other leagues and other countries. Perhaps these people would like a dose of reality by moving to these places.

    NASL with Krishnaiyer at the helm might as well be called the “North American EPL.” I hope it fails, then he can return to lecturing us on the historic legacy of Hartlepool and Huddersfield. We are different in this country and need a structure and rules which reflect our culture, not that of the Brits, the Germans, the Mexicans, The Brazilians or the Italians.

  3. SSReporters says:

    More in reference to the above comments, so Donovan should stay in MLS and rip up inferior competition like he’s done for the longest while instead of testing himself in BETTER leagues?!

    In that case you’re stifling his progress.

    • Charles says:

      Landon should play wherever Landon wants to play. He signed a 4 year deal in MLS, he had to know that he could make it at Everton while he signed that deal, so unless Chelsea comes calling…
      The problem that people have with the guys that WANT him to leave, is that WE are US soccer supporters first, THEY are English soccer supporters first.
      Call a spade a spade.

  4. Billy says:

    How is Everton bigger than the Galaxy? Who are the big players? Do they have Beckham? I looked up us this Arieta guy and he does not even play for his national team in Spain. LA has several regular national team players- guys with over 20 caps. Berhalter, Beckham, Eddie Lewis, Sanneh, Kirovski, Ricketts, Donovan, Birchall, etc. Who does Everton have with as many caps or international accomplishments?

    Some of us are tired of this nonsense. We have been kicked around for years by people who claim they are smarter and more sophisticated than us just because they watch league outside their own country and never go to local games.

    The idea that ESPN could go from all American annoucers to all English ones is crazy. Have you ever heard Martin Tyler? He’s a bore, and he could never make it on American TV. Derek Rae did nothing but put down MLS when he did those games and thankfully he was eventually removed.

    LA better not sell Donovan. I am a Quakes fan, but our league and its fans are in solidarity against the eurosnobs and with our owners and players.

  5. Art Jones says:

    Howard , Neville , Baines , Distin , Jagielka , Pienaar , Anichebe , Yakubu , Donovan , Senderos , Yobo . Cahill , Saha , Bilyaletdinov , Fellaini all full internationals , then Gosling ,Rodwell , Arteta , Coleman , Duffy , Vaughan all U21 internationals … and these lads are nobodies ???? Don’t think so !

  6. Sorry MLS people but L.A is not bigger than Everton, That club gets 35,000 plus every week which I’m sure L.A doesn’t.
    As for the Everton players not being internationals or L.A having more then I’m afraid you’re wrong.
    Apart from Arteta, every player is either a current internation or has played for their country in the past.
    Personally, I don’t see your problem, If we had a fantastic basketball player in this country, I don’t think people would want him to stay in our crap league when he could have the option to play in the NBA. The English fans would wish him well and watch his games hoping that he did well.

    Your league doesn’t need Donovan, it needs bums on seats and commitment to youth. It needs a league where teams have something to fight for and where losing all your games comes with a price.

    • totoro says:

      There’s a lot more to the “bigness” of a club than the announced attendance or counting caps as if earning caps for the US or Jamaica is the same as earning caps for England, Spain or France.

      • Dave says:

        Exactly! I don’t know how anyone can say the had to “look up” Arteta and disregard him because he “doesn’t even play for his Spanish national team”!!! Arteta is unfortunate to be Spanish, and thus be behind four of the best mids in the world (Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Iniesta) for a starting spot on (arguably) the strongest national team in the world. If he was ANY other nationality (apart from maybe Brazilian), he would be almost certainly be a first XI player, or at least in the squad.

        To say that Chris Burchill’s caps for Trinidad and Tobago are comparable is hilarious.

    • Charles says:

      I disagree, we need Landon. It makes my season ticket that much more valuable.
      I agree, we need bums in the seats. Unfortunately the pathetic American soccer fan would rather watch the 4:30 AM game in England while wearing his ManU pajamas.

      • SSReporters says:

        The Columbus Crew were defending MLS champions and couldn’t sell out their home opener. Sickening.

        For every Sounders, TFC, and I guess Chicago Fire team with a lot of support and passion, you get spuds like the Galaxy, who obviously have trouble filling seats when Beckham and Donovan aren’t around, and the Crew.

        Frankly the MLS has May-August all for themselves and still can’t put in a decent attendance despite cheap ticket prices. The public isn’t that in to soccer here.

  7. Eric Altshule says:

    Billy and Tim-

    I am hardly a euro-snob. I am a Galaxy season ticket holder from the Rose Bowl era and have probably seen as many MLS games in person as anyone you know. I have made the argument that it is both good for US Soccer, the MLS and American soccer fans to see our best players playing in the best leagues in half a dozen articles on this site, and I am running out of new ways to make old opinions.

    However, let’s have at least a thought for Landon Donovan’s perspective in all of this. Over the past five years with the Galaxy and several more with the Quakes before that, there is probably no individual who has run more miles, put in more effort and given us more remarkable moments than Donovan. He has done everything he can do to make the league a success, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. As he enters that very narrow window between his point of maximum ability and his post-30 decline as a player, we all owe him the opportunity to pursue both the bigger paycheck and more intense experiences that come from playing overseas. To deny him that chance is cruel and selfish.

    If he goes to Everton, I will miss seeing him at the Home Depot Center. It will be a long time before we see his equal. But he is the best US Soccer player there is, and he deserves the opportunity to peruse his craft to its maximum affect.

  8. Brian says:

    He NEEDS to go. And the simple fact of the matter is this…if Donovan wants to go abroad, either by staying at Everton or with another club, he will get his wish.

    MLS simply cannot afford nor want a sulking, pissed off Donovan. Nike cannot aford it either. Both parties will get involved to whatever degree possible to make a deal work provided Donovan wants to leave MLS.

  9. eplnfl says:

    Well the comments seemed to go off on a collateral track here. If I know MLS they are simply trying to get more cash and I say good for them, Hey, I’m a Fire ticket holder an expect to see Donovan when they come to Chicago. However, is it better for the league to raise some cash and keep an American star on a bigger stage then MLS will present for sometime. Sure it will. Also, I think Donovan will be in better form for the World Cup by staying. Ok, call me selfish.

    Now the best thing about Donovan being in Everton is that David Moyes shows everyone how to use an American player. It’s simple really, study their game and fit that into your team. Most European managers see their talent and say play different from what you trained so many years to do. We wonder why many American’s have such problems. May be it’s the European style of management and not the American player.

  10. robert says:

    3 Lions: great last paragraph. So true.

    Altshule: very well written piece.

    Tim & Billy: you sound like typical xenophobic, red-neck, GOP Americans whose only difference is that their gig is MLS. Not football. Heck, not even soccer. To say such ignorant things about MLS, the EPL and anything that isn’t red, white, and blue, just shows a lack of understanding for the game and more “isms” than I can count. Anyone who loves to watch quality soccer has to grit their teeth and bear an MLS game. They’re just plain ugly. There doesn’t need to be any other reason for Donovan to leave. MLS just ain’t there yet. And the Galaxy? A bigger team than the history steeped Everton? Are you kidding me? Even Hull, on a bad day, would probably crush every team in the MLS, starting with the Galaxy. I want the league to grow too, but there’s no law against stating facts. And stating facts doesn’t make anyone a “Eurosnob” (catchy euphemism… you wouldn’t happen to have confederate flags on your walls next to your Galaxy pennants would you?).

    • SSReporters says:

      Hull would get demolished by the Galaxy. Actually Hull could get demolished by a random Bolivian 3rd division team the way they play defense.

    • Jammer says:

      What does the GOP have to do with anything? You are an idiot.

    • kevin_amold says:

      Yeah, enough already with political comments.

      • John says:

        @Jammer & Kevin:

        Robert is utterly correct in calling out the mentality for what it is, and to bitchslap that kind of feather-ruffling national pride which isn’t very American at all. Yeah, guys, you’ll see the intolerance flair up way more in the GOP than you will with the DNC – sorry, but it’s true.

        Now, away from politics, Tim & Billy are exactly the kind of types that have gotten us Americans a bad rap around the world – they start calling people “Eurosnobs” or “Frogs” or whatever label they want to put down other countries, and the word travels fast and taints the rest of us.

        This thread was supposed to be a comment list that responded to the article, but now it’s turned into a fight between supporters and defenders of Tim’s conspiracy theory of “blatant” anti-Americanism in MLS-to-EPL transfer/exchange protocol. Total letdown when the patrio-fascists come out of the woodwork and use every occassion they can get their hands on to repeat the same phobic slogan: “Country First!”.

        If you want to blame anyone for bringing politics into the argument, kevin_arnold, blame Tim. He’s the one who made the argument about European soccer policies being rife with international elitism.

        *yawn*

        • The Gaffer says:

          John, good points. Some of the commenters resort to name calling rather than engage in an intellectual debate. It makes me wonder if they’re incapable of the latter which is why they resort to the name calling.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

  11. Tom says:

    Everton are not a big club because Arteta is not in the Spanish side? The whole league of the MLS does not have a player that would make the Spanish team. Actually, I doubt any of the current England squad would make the Spanish team either, that is a pretty high bar. Everton are a bigger club than LA because the get bigger average attendences, probably have more fans world wide, and play in a higher profile league. And no, I’m not a Eurosnob, I am a Colorado Rapids fan and go to a lot of their games. I’ll miss seeing Donovan live, but it is nice to see him play with better players. I think he was getting disinterested in the MLS and he needs a new challenge. Hopefully the MLS will spend the cash it gets for Donovan on multiple decent players or prospects.

    • @ Tom

      The English first choice back 4 is better than Spain’s, Although I would say their midfielders are better. Rooney is better than Villa and at the moment better than Torres as well

  12. Brian says:

    @ Tom:

    Ashley Cole for sure. Rooney on form might get the nod ahead of Villa.

  13. Matthew N says:

    I came to MLSTalk (its on my bookmarks) to see if this site was still full of the most idiotic ramblings possible, at least in the comments. Having confirmed this, I think I’ll just get my MLS news somewhere where you can actually have a decent conversation in the comments section. What the hell is wrong with some of you? A lot of people have trouble liking MLS because 1) it is not on TV and 2) there are 20 teams spread about a massive f’ing country. Even if you add in the USL and PDL (which are not on TV at all except for a couple games a week on FSC, a channel which a lot of people don’t get), there are still very few clubs spread out across massive country. You know what, I’m just dropping my argument, because there is no convincing you neanderthals anyways..

    • The Gaffer says:

      Matthew, it’s frustrating for me, too. Unfortunately it’s something that’s hard for us to control. I encourage readers to keep the faith since there are many intelligent commenters here. Sometimes the imbecile ones raise their ugly heads, but I urge you to stay with us.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Charles says:

        Gaffer, I would like to know who the imbecile ones are ?

        I say everyone should be able to have their opinions. Just the personal attacks that should go. Didn’t Matthew N do that a while back ?
        I think he did, if I am wrong, I apologize.

  14. Charles says:

    We need a rule, when you post on this topic. You need to state if you support soccer in this country. Obviously Three Lions seems to live in England, so him wanting Landon to play over there makes sense.

    But I definitely give a lot more credit to Eric A’s comment, being a long time and faithful ticket holder, than to someone that rips on MLS all the time and you realize they have no stake in him being here.

    But Eric, your comment “Clearly, he wants to stay” = you want him to stay, unless you have some inside scoop you are not revealing. He signed a 4 year deal to play in LA ?
    Do you think he thought he couldn’t make it at Everton? Give me a break….

  15. Mark says:

    I don’t know where this “us and them” is coming from. The first comment for instance.

    I’d just like to point out that comparing LA Galaxy to Everton FC in terms of size, is abit of a non-starter. Everton FC have a 132 year old history, at last years FA Cup Semi Final the club had >120000 enquiries for eligible supporters wanting tickets. Even modest estimates put Everton’s supporter numbers in the North West of England alone at 250000. Probably a million or more world wide. Everton have 9 domestic league titles and 5 domestic cup titles and a European cup winners cup title. They were rated the best team in Europe in 1985 but were unable to compete in the European Cup.

    Its not about snobbery. Its like trying to compare Everton-Tigers basketball teams to the majority of American basket ball teams. Be realistic.

    Thats not to say the US doesn’t have good players, they do and the quality is increasing (helped by the fact that Everton have grassroots partnerships with multiple MLS/USL clubs.

    I really couldn’t believe the first comment on here.

    The city of Liverpool’s population has dropped by 300000 since the 50′s (from 800k) but Everton still has matchgoing support in the 100′s of thousands, even if they’re not regular attenders.

    If the commentator had been to England like Mr Donovan has he might understand.

    I would like to see LA Galaxy and the MLS do well. The key to that is producing the next batch of “Donovans”. Everton’s doing its part in that. Are you?

  16. Mark says:

    My final point, before I let our American cousins have their say, is that alot of the posters seem to be too focused on the “here and now”.

    Donovan is 28/29 years of age.

    MLS should be more concerned with young players <21 years of age coming through i.e. the next decade.

    Everton have Peterlin and Arnoux training and experiencing life as professional footballers at Finch Farm (where they train along with the 1st team). If neither is kept on at Everton they take their experience back with them and improve the MLS potentially, both having 10 years left in them.

    It seems the MLS debate is too skewed on one player, as are some of your aspirations. You should be doing everything you can to get the next lot of youth players through. Thats the foundation of a strong league…..

    Not just the number of 000's on a paycheque (although that helps) it's not the be all and end all.

    The MLS will develop, players may go abroad – but if they do they are "products of the MLS". This will increase MLS awareness. Thats not a bad thing. The key is that the youth development is not undermined.

    IMHO from over the pond.

    • Charles says:

      One Landon = countless number of Brad Evans types.

      I am not ripping on Brad Evans, borderline USMNT bench warmer is still a great player.
      I am not saying I don’t like Brad Evans either……but he doesn’t sell one ticket outside of Seattle. Ljungberg does, Keller does, the big names do. Most of MLS does not.
      There is a reason that Landon is worth $10 million or more to MLS.

      The “MLS awareness” arguement is just a joke. Sorry, but the Sounders don’t sell one ticket, not one because Marcus Hanhemann USED to play for them. They sell tickets because Keller and Ljungberg DO play for
      them.

      • SSReporters says:

        Which is sad. The MLS can’t sell itself without signing once-greats like Ljungberg, Beckham, and now Henry could be next….

        If that’s the only way they can build a product then they are desperate.

        • Charles says:

          Desperate ? Maybe. Not exactly well supported by the pathetic US soccer fans.
          They are opportunistic too, however.
          There is money to be made by the Henrys of the world and a lot of it. Get him the league. Not like he isn’t talented still.
          There is a void in Europe too. Play for a winner or play for nothing. Not like he needs the money and he doesn’t want to play for nothing after playing for championships, so MLS is filling a nice void. Not on purpose, but still they SHOULD go after him.

  17. Brian says:

    I am an American and a Chelsea supporter above all else.

    For the betterment of the USMNT, MLS and domestic football in America…LD cannot stay in MLS long term.

    To do so would be to show that good players here are not concerned with challenging themselves elsewhere, to seek out the best training and football available, and are isntead complacent with below average paychecks, below average coaching, and below average talent.

    Losing LD in the short term might hurt, but it will show thousands of young Americans that they can succeed on the pitch and move overseas to make more money and fame and eventually become a star in their country’s strip. In turn, more and better talent will start growing the game in this country, and MLS WILL feel that positive effect, even if they lose some of the big names to bigger leagues.

    We cannot expect to keep our biggest stars. We can expect to trat them decently, market them for a couple of years as best as possible, and find the next diamond in the rough.

    • eplnfl says:

      I agree that in the short term American soccer stars have to play overseas for the good of the game in the US. However the day is fast approaching when US stars will be staying in the US for good and not looking to play abroad.

  18. Mark says:

    As long as team’s are not entirely made up of 30+ year olds its not too much of a problem.

    Its when you get 6-7 of an XI that are pushing 35 that would make you worry.

    At the MLS stage the kids need to be learning off of the older professionals. I don’t just mean on the pitch I mean off it as well, and for discipline reasons too.

    Beckham’s probably not the best illustration because he has too many outside interests. I use a Phil Neville example as the opposite extreme who does pay close attention to the developing players despite being in the 1st team.

    Putting the responsibility all on one players shoulder’s is inevitably going to be a doomed model. As I mentioned before, and young players are where you should be looking.

    Perhaps the difference between LA Galaxy and Everton is, that for the Europa League game against BATE Borsiov, Everton had more than 20,000 turn to see the U18 team play (with 16 year olds in the XI), in a game which mattered nothing.

    Its absolutely critical for the health of US football/soccer that it brings through quality youth… to develop sustainably and so Donovan isn’t a “high water mark”.

    So the likes of Charles arn’t complaining about “Brad Evan’s types”.

    It all starts with the kids.

    • Charles says:

      Timeout. I am complaining about Brad Evan’s types ?

      I have season tickets and have been going to games for 30 years.
      I am NOT complaining about Brad Evans, I love the guy. I am a huge fan.

      I am simply saying, Landon sells tickets. Brad does not, at all.

      I don’t think that Landon wants to go, but he does want to come back for another loan. It is what I would do.

  19. Jammer says:

    Charles has a point, that LD can bring fans to stadiums, not just to the Galaxy stadium, and for that reason he may be worth a lot to the MLS. The fact is LD does want to go, and I posted a quote above, that is reason enough for me.

    But I also want him to go for selfish reasons, since I enjoy watching him kick ass in EPL, to Englishmen chanting USA, far more than I enjoy watching him in MLS. I think people who watch both leagues will mostly agree. For people who only watch MLS, of course they will prefer him to stay, since it is always fun to watch better talent.

  20. Mark says:

    Oh and for the “MLS awareness” argument being a joke…

    and putting bums on seats. Nothing sells more than a HOMEGROWN star. But what happens when that homegrown star gets injured or retires?

    Equally, the number of complaints on here about Euro-snobs? Yet the thought of the 28/29 year old MLS veteran going abroad and suddenly the whole MLS is going to come crashing down? Or the fact you just don’t like it?

    I said previously that you were too “here and now”, too Donovan-centric.

    Maybe the comments are expressions of worries about weaknesses in the whole MLS league?

    Certainly, if you were confident in the younger players coming through would there be any of the “MLS awareness” dismissal. But obviously it is a real issue, that MLS followers wish to be taken seriously in Europe, but how is that going to happen unless players like Donovon prove it?

    Everton’s anger about Rooney going to Manchester United burned, because there was a prodigy at 18 leaving his boyhood club to go to a rival.

    But has that stopped Everton? Did the world stop turning? No.

    Everton just moved onto the next young player – Jack Rodwell.

    And for the strength of the MLS, MLS followers need to be finding the next batch of young players to follow in his footsteps…

    We’re talking from ones who know.

    • Charles says:

      Of course MLS followers are nervous about the whole league.
      Where were you in 1983, when it all came crashing down ?
      I was at every Sounder’s game…then was bummed when it ended. Like any good American soccer fan should be.

      >>>”But obviously it is a real issue, that MLS followers wish to be taken seriously in Europe” <<<

      ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have no need for some guy in Europe to call my soccer league legit. I want MLS to be good. For it to be good Landon needs to stay.

  21. Mark says:

    Ok, well I have no idea how to answer that. On a thread where those in Europe are called “eurosnobs”, its then stated that no one cares what europeans think, then maybe there some odd contradictions within US-soccer?

    One player does not make a league. Especially one approaching the zenith of their career.

    A league’s quality is founded in depth of competition… and on that note I’ll leave you to debate that issue. Because, and its been stated before the MLS doesn’t have the depth of competition Europe has and won’t with entrenched 1-dimensional thinking such as Charles.

    What will the MLS do when Donovan retires to put those bums on seats?

    • Charles says:

      I don’t have a problem with Landon playing in Europe. So I guess I am upgraded to two dimensional now ?
      I want him to do it….on loan ( in a non World Cup year ). I think it is a good prototype for the American player. Get paid during the offseason, and probably paid pretty well, but still live in the US and play soccer in the US.

      A superstar like Landon, can probably make a bunch in endorsements too.

      So now we have our top players making a VERY good living playing soccer in the US ( where we can watch him )…that is a very good thing.

      Why do I see Beckham and LDs conversation going like this ?
      LD: What are you doing ?
      Beck: Getting paid twice, with more endorsements you should too.
      LD: Oh…you’re right.
      Beck: Right and rich.

  22. man99utd says:

    The nearest MLS team for me to support is DC United and I live in Florida. Not happening. But let’s look at Donovan, he want’s to maintain fitness for the World Cup. Why is this needed? Because MLS has an off-season three times as long as EPL and most other major leagues in the world. Nobody can credibly argue that MLS is anywhere near as good a training ground as the EPL. The arguement is pointless as Donovan clearly wants to stay. If LA can get enough for him, and they can, as its being rumoured Chelsea may line up a summer bid then why hold him back. MLS will one day be quality but its not there yet. Is it really fair to hold back players who have the ability to play in the EPL or La Liga, etc…I’m really tired of all the “Anti-American” rubbish as the EPL has more nations represented in the league than MLS….

  23. CA says:

    Seeing Landon Donovan become a star in the best league in the world, and being an international star at that, means American kids who see Football, Basketball, and baseball as their only option, will have to think twice. Landon Donovan succeeding in Europe GREATLY raises soccer’s profile in the US, and great things can only result from that. For the sport to progress here in America, our best players have to prove themselves in the best leagues in the world. Let him go!

  24. Tom says:

    Three Lions and Brian- I was kidding, I’m sure a few Enlgish players would make the Spanish team, especially Rooney.

    I worry for the MLS if Donovan leaves, he was a signature players, the LA game was the first game I looked for when the Colorado Rapids schedule is released. We have other stars in our league, McBride, Keller, Blanco (though he’s gone), but none quite like Donovan. The MLS needs to spend the Donovan money on players.

  25. H_M says:

    The Eurosnobs are dominating the discussion and discourse. They are hurting American soccer. People should be watching OUR league, not the EPL or Serie A. I’m so tired of it. Either you love America or you don’t. If you don’t support us, go move to the country and league you support. Landon is American and he belongs here.

    • SSReporters says:

      Good. Therefore we can bring back Dempsey, Edu, Holden, Howard, etc. to play in MLS.

    • man99utd says:

      Really,

      So should Beckham, Blanco, et al., go home as they are not Americans? How about New Englands manager?

    • eplnfl says:

      Lighten up. American players in foreign leagues just does not apply to soccer. American’s have played baseball, basketball, and football overseas for years. Soccer is an exception in that the best of the Yanks being capitalists go where the big money is.

      Our time is coming and the Eurosnobs know it and fear it. What Donovan has done will speed up the time when Yanks stay home. Thank David Moyes also for it who used Donovan in the role he is bested suited for. The point here is that American’s proving themselves overseas will lend credence to the American game, draw more fans and interest and money here in the US and then keep players home.

      • Charles says:

        I hope you are right concerning drawing more fans. The Landon tour this year should definitely see a spike.

        I wonder if other teams might look to get MLS players on loan like Everton.
        IF you are a manager of a team struggling to avoid relegation, or Everton trying to move up from 10th. Bring in the American, win a few game to help the cause.

        That really helps MLS too, pathetic US soccer fans keep them from paying the players, but maybe this is the boast in a players paycheck that doesn’t cost the league anything. Might keep some players here.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer says:

      Do you propose a return to pre-Bosman football? Football was struggling in the 1980s in much of the world. We call it the dark ages here in the states between the NASL collapsing and qualification for the 1990 World Cup, but in reality England and much of Europe experienced a malaise also. I don’t quite get your logic.

  26. CA says:

    “The Eurosnobs are dominating the discussion and discourse. They are hurting American soccer. People should be watching OUR league, not the EPL or Serie A. I’m so tired of it. Either you love America or you don’t. If you don’t support us, go move to the country and league you support. Landon is American and he belongs here.”

    This is ridiculous.

  27. Mark says:

    What hurt have my club done to the MLS?

    None that I can see. Infact if anything we’ve given Donovan the opportunity to play against top class opposition, amongst top class players.

    The quote about Everton not having internationals? Every player bar Arteta in the Everton team and bench was either a full or U21 international, and Arteta was about to be called up to the Spanish squad before his ACL rupture last year.

    SSReporters has it spot on with “No. For it to be good it needs to produce better players, not go for the star attraction.”

    As for H_M’s comments, well I understand the sentiment but that is just that, sentiment, with a hint of xenophobia.

    It would be far better for H_M to devote such righteous energy to developing new world class young players then barrating players for going to the older leagues in Europe.

    I mean what was the name for “soccer” in 1870′s America? Thats not being pedantic, thats making a point. Its not eurosnobbery. Its history.

    When the MLS is producing players year in year out of the quality of Donovan then maybe the things could be different. Until then any anger being vented is being vented in the wrong direction.

    I can go vent at a Force 10 hurricane all I want. Doesn’t change the fact its a force of nature.

    And that the English league has 130 years on the MLS (in its current form).

    Its all about participation, and development for the MLS to grow.

  28. Brian says:

    “However the day is fast approaching when US stars will be staying in the US for good and not looking to play abroad. ”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah…making five figures a year, not allowed to leave on Bosmans, below average coaching, talent, and support…yep, United States stars are sure going to turn down UEFA football, higher wages, a more glamorous lifestyle, and the recognition that comes with playing abroad.

    • DCLee says:

      To be close to family and home…Yes some are. Troy Perkins just returned to the states to play from UEFA football primarily because he wanted to have his kid be close to home.

    • Charles says:

      Are you part of the below average support ?

  29. man99utd says:

    I still find it amazing that fans of the EPL are called “eurosnobs” when the footballers playing in the EPL represent every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica, and I hear Sir Alex is tracking a couple of cracking Emperor Penguins.

    • Charles says:

      The problem is:
      One, the soccer genius/euro only lovers don’t support soccer in the US
      if they did, not a problem.

      Two, not only do they not support it, when the MLS is poor because they don’t support it, they blame MLS for their lack of support….”it is the 72nd best league in the world” was posted here. Too many blame comments to even post. Excitement that Seattle will draw more than the average EPL team ?…no the exact opposite. Rip it every opportunity.

      Three, they are killing our National team with the lack of support. Do you really believe our best athletes go into soccer ? If so, I have some Madoff investments to sell you at a premium. LaBron James isn’t the best in the world because noone else plays basketball, he is one of the best athletes in the world on par with whoever you think the best soccer player is.
      Why don’t the athletes play soccer ? We all agree soccer is the best sport out there ? Because there aren’t enough fans of soccer in the US. End of story.

      Chelsea, Barca versus LA in the RoseBowl 100,000. LA versus LA in LA for a playoff game, 20,000.
      You can see why a soccer fan that doesn’t like soccer in the US gets under my ( and other’s) skin.

  30. DClee says:

    I am one of the minority on this board unfortunately Charles and your post above is spot on and it’s why I get irritated as well. The lovers of the beautiful game in one continent(Europe) can take the time to criticize but can’t spend half of that energy to go support the league here so it can grow and add and keep the great players that do play in the league. If they it gave it one tenth the support then the players would be getting a bigger payday, the quality on the pitch would improve and instead of watching a game 5000 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic on a 42″ TV they could drive over to there nearest professional soccer team and watch, cheer and chant their hearts out to be a part of that passion in the stands. Some of these comments about how it is the history of the game make cringe. I’m glad there were enough forward thinkers in this country to get us past all our past problems and move us forward. I agree and want the historic leagues to have their place or perch in world football but I also want our league to improve and prosper as well. It seems like many on this board want it to fail and be like it was in the 80′s again and if that happens there want be any Landon Donovans playing the EPL because without this league many of this kids would not be given the chance to continue playing and improve their games to the point that a Chelsea is looking at them.

  31. Tom says:

    I agree with you guys that it is fustrating when fans are happy to only watch the game on TV. I don’t want soccer to only be a TV event for me. A perfect spring or fall Saturday starts with an early EPL game, then a life (maybe something with the kids or maybe pick-up or a bike ride or whatever), then an evening game at Dicks Park watching the Rapids, and wind it up with MLS highlights when I get home. The point is, going to the stadium is fun.

    However, it is only entertainment- not world peace. People don’t have to feel guilty about what they watch, it the MLS’s job to be entertaining.

  32. H_M says:

    I tend to agree. This is basically a war. I have no time or patience for the euro snobs who force their history and tradition down our throat and continue un-American rants. I wish they would all just go away. If you want to associate with euro trash and hate America please move and let us get on with the business of building our own soccer culture here at home, without the influence of Europeans who are simply trying to drain us of our best resources in the sport.

  33. man99utd says:

    The EPL is the most popular league in the world because it isn’t just a bunch of English yobs kicking the stuffing out of a ball but because it has drawn the very best talent in the world to England. The prestige and money is hard to pass up. The “English” game has grown in direct proportion to the influx of foreign players. I would love to see MLS grow, but it won’t do so simply because of Americans. When young American children start to look to the Rooney’s, Messi’s, and Donovan’s as sport heros rather than NFL, MLB, and NBA stars then we may see a real change here. But that takes money and that’s something the MLS will not release because of the hard salary cap. I realise its kind of a chicken/egg thing, but why would the best talent in game, American or otherwise, want to play in Columbus for $200,000 a year when they can play in London/Madrid for $100,000 a match? And please save the patriotic rants for the National Teams. Patriotism doesn’t feed the family. I make more than many MLS players and I make well below six figures……

  34. ChicagoBlues says:

    Wow, there are some real narrow minded, ignorant comments on this article. I’m American born and raised, I’m a huge Chelsea fan, I wake up every Saturday/Sunday morning to watch EPL. That being said I’m a huge Fire fan, even started a Supporters group with a few friends that was 50 strong towards the end of last season. I’m also an avid USMNT fan, I want them to succeed more than anything, that’s why Landon needs to stay in England. The more players from the US squad to play abroad, the better. They’re not going to get better playing in a low quality league at all, I love MLS but it’s not to the point it needs to be just yet. Up the Fire! Up the Chels!

  35. Brian says:

    @ ChicagoBlues:

    Are you my clone (Chelsea, Fire, USMNT, Chicago?)

    • ChicagoBlues says:

      @ Brian
      Yes, I am, I’ve been waiting for you to find me, it took forever. Let’s meet at The Globe and catch up.

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