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Landon Donovan is Going to Europe. It’s About Time.

 Landon Donovan is Going to Europe.  It’s About Time.

In a post-game interview after last night’s All-Star game, Landon Donovan said “We have had transfer interest and we will have some time to think about it and see where it goes.  There is interest from a number of teams.”

To be explicit, what Donovan said he is going to Europe, and it is not a matter of when (next month) but of who (Everton, Man City, Serie A or somewhere else) and at what price.

Landon Donovan is, simply said, the best American soccer player of all time.  He has speed, ball skills, game vision, and a scoring touch that are unmatched by any US player to date.  For American fans of the game, for followers of MLS, and for those of us in Los Angeles who have been privileged to watch him play for the past seasons, he has provided some truly inspirational moments.  We will miss him.  But it is truly time for him to go.

He simply has nothing left to prove here in the States.  He has done all he can do to promote the game and inspire the next generation of players.  He has provided some memorable moments.  He has played in three World Cups and will probably add a fourth before he hangs up his cleats for good.  In order to improve, and in order for him to show both the rising generation of American players and a skeptical (though increasingly less so) European community what American soccer has to offer the world football community, it is time for him to take this step.

Will Major League Soccer suffer for his loss?  Perhaps a little, in the short-run.  In the long run, for MLS to have credibility with American fans, it cannot exist as a closed market.  American soccer fans are not dim.  They know the best leagues are overseas, and that for MLS to have credibility, and to one day be seen on a par with those leagues, MLS has to be able to produce players that can succeed and star in England, Germany, Italy and Spain.  Every MLS player that succeeds in Europe reflects well on MLS, gives it more legitimacy, and makes it more interesting as a spectator sport.  The millions of dollars a Donovan transfer, and other similar transfers, will generate will enable MLS to recruit, market and develop with greater resources.

In the near-term, this is the best use of MLS – a developer and exporter of North American talent and an importer of famous European players on (but not past) the downslopes of their careers.  The fact that four months ago Theirry Henry and Rafa Marquez were playing for arguably the best team in the world (Barcelona) and are now in MLS while Landon Donovan is going from being the unstoppable player in MLS to a valued asset in Europe is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Will American fans suffer for Donovan’s loss?  No.  We are not “losing” him.  For most American fans, Donovan will be playing on FSC on Saturday mornings rather than FSC on Saturday evenings.

And finally, the American soccer community could simply not be so cruel as to deny Donovan the opportunity  to play every week among the best.  Donovan only has a few years left before his skills and abilities begin to irretrievably slip away.  For all he has done for MLS and soccer in this country, he is owed the opportunity end his career without unanswered questions.  Donovan scored as many goals in South Africa (three) as the entire English team.  He deserves the chance to show the world why that was not a fluke.

As a Galaxy season ticket holder, I know that this Sunday against Chicago may be the last time Donovan leads his team onto the Home Depot Center turf.  I will miss him as much as any athlete I have ever seen play for any of my local teams and I will be sorry to see him go.  It would be sorrier to see him stay here, and wonder about what could have been.

60 Responses to Landon Donovan is Going to Europe. It’s About Time.

  1. Skippy says:

    Eric, you’re declaration that “Landon Donovan is Going to Europe” is premature. You’re not breaking any news…just making a huge unsubstantiated assumption.

    If Landon is offered $4 million to play in Europe, MLS will have to decide whether Landon is worth the extra $2 million in marketing, endorsements, and growth of soccer in the US. He is worth EVERY PENNY to MLS.

    With the way that Garber has been dropping his name and given that Landon’s relationship with Bianca is on the mend, I think there is a good chance that he stays in Los Angeles. Did you consider the possibility that Landon is happier in LA with his dogs, ex-wife, growing the sport, getting American endorsements, appearing on Dancing with the Stars, and being a national hero?

    Or are you so eurocentric that you feel he needs to prove himself to the Brits and other declining soccer nations. I hope that Landon doesn’t suffer from the same inferiority complex as you.

    • James says:

      How much would you like to wager that he’s gone before Sept. 1?

      • sergio lima says:

        C’mon guys, Donovan is a good soccer player with a gigantic heart. He is very very important to the American market. He is the guy the American kids are watching, but it is not enough to be a player who can carry his team at any moment in the game on any worldwide league, the top ones. He is a good player. We should continuously looking for that guy who will turn things around. Donovan will be forever in the history of the development of the game, but I can garantee you it is just a matter of time before we produce a legit born in the USA worldwide top player.

    • Dave C says:

      “Did you consider the possibility that Landon is happier in LA with his dogs, ex-wife, growing the sport, getting American endorsements, appearing on Dancing with the Stars, and being a national hero?”

      He could take his dogs to Europe. He could still get American endorsements (and/or European endorsements too)in Europe. He could still be an American national hero in Europe. We even have and English version of Dancing with the Stars too.

      So really you’re saying the only thing keeping him in the US is his ex-wife (I don’t follow his personal life, so I don’t know why his ex-wife would be a reason to stay here) and “growing the game” (although I don’t know if that’s his responsibility).

  2. Charles says:

    Inferiority complex is exactly the word I was looking for.
    Is there any doubt he can prove himself in Europe ?

    We are not losing him (if he leaves, huge assumption ) ?
    That might be the stupidest comment I have ever read in a blog.
    Yeah, instead of watching him at QWest ( a 15 minute drive ) I can fly to Milan…..

  3. Ali says:

    Ali from England here.
    I became a mls follower when becks went to your league and it never ceases to amaze me how many bigsoccer posters want Landon to leave. Landon has already proven he can play in the premier league with what he did with Everton and then the World cup. MLS seems more impressive to me seeing him play in it than if he leaves.

    However, I do understand why Donovan himself wants to play elsewhere, but the american fans wanting him to leave their own league, not so much.

    • Charles says:

      You should have been here this winter.
      The bloggers were praying for him to leave.

      “Challenge” is the word they use to disguise the fact that they like other leagues better.

  4. Eric Altshule says:

    Maybe I am suffering from a massive inferiority complex, but from my view, MLS is inferior to the EPL, Serie A and La Liga. To pretend otherwise is to be suffering from some sort of complex. For the record, I also think they play better basketball in the NBA than they do the PAC-10. That does not change the fact that I find the NBA to be dull and I love college ball. But I can understand why someone would want to play in the NBA.

    Moreover, my sense is that better/worse, inferior/superior is not the issue. The issue is that Donovan wants to challenge himself in a way that he cannot in MLS. If that is what he wants, he has earned the right.

    As for whether this is inevitable, it is. Don Garbor has gone from an “over my dead body” stance to saying yesterday that “I hope that he will stay here for the rest of his career &(but) it’s not my decision, it’s Landon’s decision and LA Galaxy’s decision.”

    Garbor has accepted the fact that Donovan is going. The rest of us should too.

    • SSReporters says:

      Yep. The best league in the world is not the MLS (it’s not even the best in North America) so you have to test yourself in better leagues.

    • Ali says:

      “The issue is that Donovan wants to challenge himself in a way that he cannot in MLS. If that is what he wants, he has earned the right”
      ————————————–
      Nobody is questioning his right to leave. The discussion is whether they want him to.

  5. eplnfl says:

    First of all this Sunday against Chicago fear the Fire not that it is the last time you will see Donovan in LA. Ok, had to get that one in.

    As to the tone of the piece that it is a done deal from what I heard of the Donovan interview on ESPN that would not be the case. I recall Donovan saying for now he is here in the US and MLS. May there be a more extensive loan deal than their was last year with Everton? I would think so. My guess is that you will see him released to play after the MLS season and stay to the end of the European season. Donovan staying in the US at this point in time is a matter of national pride. I am certain Donovan wants MLS to up his contract which they must but the day has come sooner than I thought that MLS would need to keep a great American player in the US.

    Half done deal in my opinion.

    • vic says:

      thats the sense I get too. Last week, Donovan said that in response to Garber essentially saying that “LD is ours and we arent taking any bids on him”, stated that, if he were commissioner, he’d probably say the same. LD understands MLS’ standpoint and whats to be lost from his departure, so he’s not gonna engage in a big hissy fit if he’s not let loose permanantly for the asking price of at least 15mil. After all, why would LD have signed an extension only a few months ago just to turn around and demand to be let go w/out MLS’s asking price. He understands the predictament. However, he’ll only be satisfied as long as let to go play on loan…perhaps even from Jan to July, in a loan spell of the Beckham varieyt (thus, missing about half of next season)

      • vic says:

        i meant to say “if he’s not let loose permanantly for BELOW the asking price of 15mil”….Everton cant pay 15mil, so they would have to seek him at a price that MLS would consider a loss

        • Dave C says:

          I wouldn’t be sure that Everton can’t pay $15m (I’m assuming you meant 15m USD, not 15m GBP). They paid way more than that for Fellaini.

          Whether they think he’s good value for that kind of money is a different matter – as Randy Capps touches on below, MLS’s valuation of LD (as the star of their whole league) compared to most European club’s valuation of him (as a useful but not world-beating player) might be hard to reconcile. Although I guess $10m-$15m might be agreeable to all parties.

  6. jcr says:

    Once again, the tone of an article on this site sounds really uninformed and down right dumb.

    I hate to break your hearts, but MLS does not exist solely to help the interest of the USA soccer team. MLS is in business for MLS and Donovan is more important than ever for the league. If a team that Donovan wants to go to can’t pay the transfer fee that MLS would demand which I believe is at least $10M then it is NOT happening.

    This has nothing to do with us having to accept him going way (oh the tears). Donovan is under contract and getting paid well at $2m per year. He cannot decide on his own to go.

    MLS doesn’t care that you think Donovan would be better off in Europe (maybe a little), but not if it means giving him away which anything less than $10M would be giving him away.

    • jcr says:

      To add, MLS is also in the midst of negotiating the renewal of their TV deal with Fox Sports Channel which is miniscule at $2M per year. Per Soler of the Red Bulls in an interview, the Norwegian league with $4.5M people (U.S. has over $300M) gets something on the order of $45M per year. Players like Donovan are crucial to the league to get the best TV deal possible and Donovan is at the peak of his popularity. Do you really think MLS will just let Donovan go without good compensation?

  7. jcr says:

    I just noticed I used $ signs for numbers of people. My mistake.

  8. jeff says:

    JCR, I agree with you 100%. At what point do we stop wishing the best American players away to Europe? If MLS is going to develop into a top world league, it has to at some point stem the tide of the best American players leaving to go play in Europe. I do not think it was a tremendous advertisement for the league that there were only 4 MLS players on the WC roster, even though many of them started out in MLS. If Donovan goes he goes because the league was able to work out a deal to the satisfaction of all parties. But the league is under no obligation to sell him. My opinion is that the best thing for American soccer and for MLS is for him to stay.

    • Dave C says:

      Jeff – I would be surprised if at any point in our lifetimes will we see the MLS trying to stem the exodus of top American players in order to become a top league. Let’s face it, MLS is lightyears below the Brazilian and Argentinian leagues right now, and those leagues are in no position to stop the best Brazilians and Argentinians moving to Europe.

      I think if the TV-money talked about is true (only $2m per year??) then the MLS would jump at the opportunity to earn 5-6 times that amount from the sale of Donovan. And in the long run, I don’t think that would necessarily be bad for US soccer.

  9. DCUDiplomat96 says:

    I dont think its a matter of proving but maybe the money, more money in europe.

    • Randy Capps says:

      I think it’s anything but a done deal, but it is interesting to think about.

      1. What will MLS ask for in terms of a transfer fee? There’s a difference between Donovan’s market value and his value to the league as its biggest American star. In other words, it’s possible that he’s far more valuable to MLS than he is to the average club in Europe.

      2. Does he actually want to go? The general consensus is that Donovan likes living in L.A. and being the face of the game here in the states. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. He can play soccer and be rich in California just as easily as he can in Liverpool or Manchester.

      3. MLS will rise or fall based on plenty of other factors. Donovan leaving or staying in MLS will have a short-term impact on Major League Soccer’s bottom line, but at the end of the day, the league will rise or fall based on its ability to develop quality players and attract the occasional big name to fill a DP slot.

      One day, sooner or later, there will be MLS without Landon Donovan. You can’t pin the hopes of an entire league on one man’s shoulders – even if that man is the greatest American player of all time.

  10. Dave C says:

    Last year (I think) Donovan signed a new contract with MLS, since his existing contract was due to expire this summer (I believe). At the time, I thought it was a really crazy mistake by Donovan if he had ANY intention to move to Europe, since it effectively put his fate in MLS’s hands, rather than his own. Surely it would have been much better to just let his contract run down and then go to Europe as a free agent??

    But the more I’m thinking about it, the more I think maybe there was more going on than meets the eye. Does anyone else think that when they signed the contract, they did so with MLS acknowledging that it was INEVITABLE that Donovan will go to Europe, so perhaps they signed a contract (on improved terms for LD) with a fixed get-out clause in case a European team offered a stipulated realistic asking price? This way, Donovan gets the improved terms for the year or so under this new contract, and also gets to leave for Europe when the offer comes along, while MLS are at least guaranteed a transfer fee when the inevitable move happens? That’s the only reason I can think that he might have signed that contract.

    • Charles says:

      THE ONLY REASON ?!?!
      “Maybe he wants to play here” never crossed your mind even once.
      I don’t believe you, sorry.

      • Dave C says:

        Charles – I had already considered that, but it doesn’t change anything. Even if he knew 100% that he wanted to stay in MLS, it would have made sense to let his contract run down, so that he could use his WC performance (and offers from other teams) as leverage to get a better deal with MLS.

  11. Arnie says:

    So Eric, Landon has nothing left to prove here in the states? Whatever. I didn’t think that “proving something” was the definition of anything. I thought life was about doing a quality job in the environment you find yourself in.

    If MLS can’t keep Landon happy – He’s good, but not god – then mls needs to fully advertise themselves as a minor soccer league and not pretend that they are some sort of equivalent to the major european leagues.

  12. Steve Myers says:

    Whatever your thoughts on Landon being the face of US Soccer, as an Everton fan I will tell you that he would be welcomed back with open arms by everyone at the club. And our #9 shirt is still vacant!! Donovan in our famous #9 shirt? Yes please and the sooner the better

  13. Steve says:

    Hi guys,
    I am an Everton season ticket holder and was privileged to watch Landon perform for us last season, he’s a fantastic player and a credit to the MLS, not only in the way he plays the game, but also in the way that he represents the league and American people in general.
    From a purely selfish point of view I would like Everton to sign Landon on a permanent deal, but I also understand that some of you think the MLS needs him more.
    From a purely monetary aspect, it would be a great deal for MLS, {5 times more than what they receive from FSC for tv coverage for a year}, along with actually enhancing their PL coverage for FSC, I’m sure they would attract a bigger American audience if the likes of Landon are playing in the PL, I think it would also serve the sport well in the USA because youngsters would see whats achievable in “soccer” if they are willing to work hard to improve their game.

  14. Charles says:

    The 3 basic arguements of why Landon should leave, all rolled up into this posting by Eric. My reponse, What a load of garbage.

    1. The inferiority complex, he still has something to prove. I believe Eric used the words proving the World Cup was not a FLUKE.
    This is the biggest load right here. Landon has nothing to prove, even he didn’t already prove it, which he did. Get over yourselves, he doesn’t need to show anything to you….and he already did.

    2. The Challenge Theory
    He has a huge challenge right here. MLS is hard to win. This is not LaLiga where only two teams have a chance at the beginning of the season. Last year’s last place RedBulls are now contending, maybe even favorites for some to win it all. Plus, CCL has not been won since before he was a factor.
    The flip side of that is the “challenge guys” want him to go to Everton. Are you joking ? They will never win their league….EVER ( sorry previous two posters, I like your input and I do think he should go on loan there when not playing for LA ). The so called challenge and pressure of knowing you will never win ever is a myth.

    3. MLS is better off having players move to EPL, it gives legitimacy to the league.
    There is nothing to say here, even people that say it don’t believe it, there is no way you can convince me they do. It is like a blogger thinking, what is the stupidest thing I could write that people will agree with.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry Charles, got to disagree with you on your point about us never winning our league {we have won it nine times in our history}
      Many Evertonians feel that this team we have assembled has a real chance of winning major honours, its probably the strongest squad we have had since the last time we won the league in 1987, and many of us also believe that Landon might be the final piece in that jigsaw.
      On your point about players moving from MLS to Europe, it’s something you’re going to have to accept sooner or later, strangely enough, Landons success maybe the catalyst that starts it off, his success at Everton will have alerted club scouts from across the globe looking for new talent that’s available at an affordable price in comparison to other countries.

      • Charles says:

        First of all I never said Everton never did win it, I said they never would win it, maybe never is a long time, but for the length of Donovan’s playing days anyway.

        BTW, Everton is 151 -1 shot, so put 100 Euros on it.

        We have already seen it many times, I just don’t understand why someone would WANT him to leave. There is no reason, as I stated.

    • Dave C says:

      1. I’d say he still has something to prove – he might still want to prove that he can perform consistently in a European league, to prove his stint at Everton wasn’t just a flash-in-the-pan fluke. He’s never proved he can cut it in the Europa League or Champions League.

      2. There are more challenges than just winning the league. Sure maybe Everton will never win the EPL, but aiming for the Europa League positions, or maybe even the top 4, is a realistic challenge. Winning the FA cup is still a challenge. Winning the Europa League (if they’re in it) could be a realistic challenge. Nearly every game he plays on a weekly basis will be a bigger challenge than he any individual game in MLS.

      3. I agree with you on this one – I don’t think it is beneficial to the MLS (apart from in a financial sense) for its best players to move to Europe. There’s already plenty of proof that some of the best MLS players can make the grade in Europe, so even if LD becomes one more, it won’t prove anything about the validity of the MLS.

      • Charles says:

        DaveC:
        IF you haven’t seen/aren’t convinced/you still need proof Landon is a great player I think that tells us all we need to know.
        The challenge of finishing in 4th being own of your goals for Landon, PROVES it ;-) .

        • Dave C says:

          Charles,
          Landon has had one good spell at Everton, which in my opinion has proved he’s capable of performing regularly at the highest level. But for SOME people, maybe even LD himself, that might not outweigh the fact he’s had two (or is it three) lousy spells in Germany. He may well want to prove once and for all which is the “real” Landon Donovan, and that his success at Everton wasn’t just a hotstreak.

          And why wouldn’t finishing 4th be an admirable goal in one of the hardest leagues in the world?

    • Matt says:

      “He has a huge challenge right here. MLS is hard to win.”

      Sure. In its own right. its a very balanced league with lots of contenders, but apart from the pre World Cup Galaxy, no one stands out. It is slowly strengthening, and more americans (whether they be newcomers to the game or those who only focused on European leagues) are following teams with actual interest. But to say that winning the MLS is in any way comparable to finishing fourth in the Prem is nothing short of naive.

      I’ll give you an example. Let’s take Manchester City, a team who FAILED to take fourth place last year. If you think for one second that Manchester City would not only win the MLS Cup, but go the entire season undefeated, then you should step away from the kool-aid my friend. You’ve had waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much.

      By the way, our league will be strengthened by MLS grown players leaving the league to go on to succeed in Europe like Landon has and would continue to at Everton if he is allowed to leave. It will garner more respect from the world over (who have seen, and probably still see the MLS as poor players beating up on terrible players in their own “special” league). The success of these players will cause not only more high profile aging stars to come stateside, but also to become a viable option for the stars of tomorrow to start their career here in America.

      • Matt says:

        Just to clarify my position, I am a rabid Manchester United supporter who is absolutely appalled by the new galactico format City are using to try and buy the league. I could have used Liverpool or Aston Villa (each of which are also bound for the Europa League this fall) in my example, but chose to use City because even I, someone who loathes the club, and see that they would be incredibly successful when matched up against any MLS side.

  15. Of course Landon will leave the mickeymouse league says:

    Landon couldn’t even beat the Islanders in the CCL, yet he wants to go to Europe? Hahaha!!! The reason he wants to leave is because he feels he will have better teammates in Europe who will not lose to lower division teams like the Islanders. But in the UEFA, lower div teams can’t even make the Champions League, so he has nothing to fear there.

    The Islanders’ thumping may have been the best occurence for Donovan’s career. It made him disgusted with his league, and now he can earn real cash overseas.

  16. Dan says:

    He will go to Man City and then come back to the Galaxy in 4 years.

  17. DCUDiplomat96 says:

    I dont think any American Soccer Player going to Europe would help boost soccers profile in the United states, Yeah the europeans fans of who team they play for will benefit but they hardly will be heard on Mainstream american press, until world cup time that is. ofcourse you can Blame US Soccer for that too.

  18. Danny says:

    Charles you clearly lack knowledge of the premiership if you think that Everton will never win it! We finished 8th last year with our squad absolutely crippled by injuries and then in january Donovan arrived and some more of our major stars returned and we went on a streak that if we’d matched in the first half of the season would have resulted in us finishing 2nd! You should put some “euros” on us with those odds.

    For the less controversial american fan some information you may want to know, Everton have pretty large debts due to having an old stadium that we need to move from, lowsy chairmen and other reasons such as spending more than we have. There is a system we use for buying players which involves us paying in installments e.g. Fellaini will cost us 15 million GBP eventually but we are paying that over 5 years, it is likely that if the rumours are true about us agreeing a fee that it will be paid for over the duration of Donovans contract perhaps with a buyback clause inserted so he can return to the MLS seamlessly at the end of his contract.

    On the MLS tv deal subject this year Everton will receive £30 Million from tv deals compared to the whole MLS receiving $2 Million, which proves that our club game is not in decline as someone posted above.

    Finally someone said that Donovan is worth much more to the MLS than the average european club, well that may not be true financially at least due to the increase in attention that would be put on that club by US fans. For example how many of you will start watching Everton games just to see him?

    • Charles says:

      I gave myself a year to watch the Premier league, I didn’t make it.
      It is absolutely unwatchable. Virtually every game is meaningless.
      A team that has zero chance of winning it all and is in no danger of getting demoted versus the exact same type of team.

      By Christmas a moron could tell the only game you needed to watch in the second half of the season was Chelsea v Man U, so I watched that and two or three other games.

      But learned enough to say there is no way in hell I am putting Euros or even Monopoly money on Everton to win the EPL in the next 10 years, much less this year.

      Give me a timeframe, Everton wins the EPL….
      before or after Landon retires ?
      before or after I die in 30 years ?
      50 years ?

      • SSReporters says:

        FFS you are so hell-bent on “winning it all” when you have absolutely no idea how the soccer structure in the rest of the world works. Some of these clubs are so small they’re playing in stadiums smaller than a few local high schools in Seattle. The last thing they’re thinking of is “Best in the Premier League”. There’s a reason why you have Cup competitions both domestically and internationally. Tottenham couldn’t win the league but they can still have a shot at being crowned “Champions of Europe”. Once upon a time Manchester United wasn’t very good and only 5 years ago Man City were nearly relegated. Blackburn won the Premier League and found themselves in the Championship. Chelsea’s first title was only a few seasons ago. Liverpool were the greatest team in England in the 1970s-80s and now are in rebuilding mode.

      • Danny says:

        What do you mean every game is unwatchable and meaningless?

        In England every team below the premiership strives to be there so they can see great footballers play every week be it for or against them so literally every game that season isn’t meaningless for them. As an Everton fan I like seeing our team build and gradually improve like we have done over the last 5 years because after all what is the point in watching football (soccer) if your team could just as easily finish first as it could last?

        If you think that MLS is better/ more exciting to watch than the premiership then I feel sorry for you.

        Also you claim that Everton will never win it but how do you know if you only watched a few games? Can you even tell me any other Everton players?

      • HugoFrancesco says:

        Charles,

        There are English football fans that remind me exactly like you. We call them glory hunters. They are obsessed with winning things and only support a football club if they will win some silverware. For my whole life I’ve been brought up as a Stoke City fan. Up until 2 years ago I couldn’t see me ever seeing us play in the premier league (that’s EPL to you) after seeing many awful perfomances in the lower leagues of English football. The gap between the premier league and the lower leagues is massive and for us, along with other teams, have done extraordinarily well to remain in the best league in the world let alone secure two safe mid table finishes. What’s happening with our club is nothing short of spectacular and even though many fans in England may not appreciate the style of football we play, the majority admire what we have achieved. We have a chairman who is a life long Stoke fan aswell as being a top class business man who knows how to run a football club properly. Thanks to him we achieved an unexpected promotion and established ourselves as a safe premier league side with no debts what so ever, a club owned stadium and a club that are now starting to adapt our style slowly and wisely to be able to push on over the next few seasons. I could not have asked for much more.

        My point is that people like you will never learn the real magic of the game of football (soccer) that competition for places brings ignoring trophies. The top 3 teams fight for the league title. There’s then 4 or 5 more teams that will battle for the last UEFA Champions League spot with the teams that dont make the last spot battling also for the 3 Europa League spots. Anyone out of the bottom 8 teams could go down and the remaining 4 or 5 teams could all pull off a shock and make European qualification. There is not one team that has nothing to play for and the narrow minded views that you and other glory hunters share are a big shame in the game.

        There is then the big rivalries in the game that adds extra spice to the games, the hardcore fans that make the matches worth going to and the on pitch feuds you can experience over the season. I get the impression you haven’t watched many Premier League games and you need to watch a full season and follow one team to experience the true feelings and emotions of the English game.

        Either experience something properly or keep your stupid views to yourself.

      • Dave C says:

        When you say every game is meaningless, do you mean more meaningless than in a league where a team can still finish 8th out of 16 and be called “champions”, and where a team can finish bottom of the league and not face any negative repercussions??

        • Charles says:

          First of all Salt Lake won more games than any other team in MLS ?!?!
          They shouldn’t be champs ? Bizarre thinking.

          Danny, keep you pity party to yourself. Virtually every team had a chance to win MLS last year on the last game of the MLS season..it was that close. I watched the first half of the season, that is all you need to watch to see that Everton is not going to win the EPL.
          They were out of it by Christmas. 151-1 shots for this year, you would think I was exagerating, but I am not.

          My “stupid opinion” is 100% correct.

          And for very obvious reasons, I don’t wany my league to function like the EPL….and I don’t want ‘America’s best’ playing on teams that are constantly playing for nothing.

          • SSReporters says:

            What on earth are you talking about? Last year RSL won 11 games and LOST 12 in the regular season. That’s mediocrity, not “it’s a close race”.

            And of course you proved Hugo’s point.

          • Danny says:

            Not really, this is a response in the style of you Charles.

            USA were never going to win the world cup so why did they bother going? I could see after the first match against England that they weren’t good enough so they may aswell have gone home straight after that match.

            Its a thing called pride, playing for your teammates doing what you can to improve a team season by season. No matter how many league titles a team wins in the MLS it will forever mean nothing because anyone can win it, there is a reason the premiership has some of the most famous sports teams in the world and that is because they have established, successful histories.

          • HugoFrancesco says:

            You’re opinion is very stupid Charles because you haven’t experienced what you’re talking about. I’m not going to be drawn into criticising the APL (:-D) because I haven’t experienced it. If all you want is to see trophies wont then that is a very sad thought. You claim anyone can win the MLS title which for me doesn’t make it as much of a challenge as you’ve pretty much implied yourself. However, The Premier League title is much more of an achievement and there is a reason many countries around the world all consider it to be the best and most exciting league in the world. The game was developed in our country and it will remain the best in the world (until money takes over completely). Football is a universal interest which makes me enjoy reading peoples opinions if they can give reasoning behind them. But I’m still to hear concrete evidence that your opinions are remotely respectful.

          • Dave C says:

            Charles, congrats to RSL for winning the most games AND being “champions”. But that doesn’t address my point that they could just as easily have finished 8th out of 16, and still gone on to win the play-off final. How does a system that allows you to finish 8th and still call yourself champions NOT create a whole load of meaningless games.

          • Charles says:

            SSReporters,

            Why do stop the season before the playoffs ?
            So Columbus could have an equal record against Salt Lake ? instead of losing 3 out of 4 games. LA too ?

            Salt Lake won more games than any team in MLS last season.

  19. OleGunnar20 says:

    $10M-$15M for Donvan is only 6.5M-10M GBP. that really isn’t all that much all things considered. if Everton can’t afford that they have bigger problems than Landon can fix.

    • Danny says:

      OleGunnar20 Everton might not be able to afford that but they aren’t in any danger of going bankrupt, our debt is one of the smallest in the premiership.

      • Dave C says:

        Also, it might not simply be a matter of whether Everton can afford it – it’s a matter of whether they think he is worth that valuation.

  20. james says:

    Looks like he’s not going to Everton.

  21. I think it’s anything but a done deal, but it is interesting to think about.

  22. Tad says:

    I agree with several here. The contract with MLS was the best thing for Donovan. It made a statement aboout his value and raised the ante if any Euro club wanted to take him away.

    It comes down to whether he’s worth it to other interested clubs and, more importantly, what makes him happiest. For a long time I wished to see Donovan play in Europe but I think that he’s sufficiently made his point, especially in the past year (World Cup, Confed Cup and Everton). If he’s happy to carry the torch for the US here and only do loans in the winter then good for him. At his age it’s not as if there’s a lot of time left to make a much bigger impression on the footballing world, no matter how well he performed. It’s too late for him to reach the heights of a Ronaldinho or Kaka in Europe.

    The MLS, Galaxy and Donovan appear to be working in excellent cooperation for his best interests and all others concerned.

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