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Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan’s Last Shot


Landon Donovan is poised to give it another shot. The legendary American footballer who has had more of an impact on Major League Soccer than any other American player this decade is heading abroad, again. This time, Donovan is headed to Merseyside to play on loan for struggling Everton.

If Donovan is ever going to make it in Europe, it will be for an outstanding manager like David Moyes, at a club like Everton. But his game needs to be refined to succeed in the brutal climate of northern England during the winter. The narrow pitches that dominate the Premiership, and the regular rain of Merseyside, require a specific skill set to succeed, and that is a skill set Donovan has yet to demonstrate.

Donovan is considered by this writer among the ten most influential international footballers on the planet. But as a club footballer, his impact is probably not even in the top five hundred, given his previous failures at the top level of competition. Club and International football are two entirely different things: for example, while I consider Didier Drogba and Andreas Iniesta to be in the top ten worldwide for both club and country, I would consider Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, top ten club footballers but outside the top 25 as far as international play.

Similarly, Andrei Arshavin, Robinho and Michael Ballack contend for top ten honors on the international stage but with the exception of Arshavin (who is probably a top 25 club player but not top ten), the others named are arguably outside the top fifty for club football.

Donovan’s reputation in the United States is based on his international success, while skepticism about him in Europe is largely based on his club failures. Major League Soccer is not considered a top tier league by the majority of pundits in Europe. Thus Donovan’s numerous accomplishments in the American domestic circuit simply reinforce for a number of European analysts that MLS is of a low standard.

Donovan’s previous stints in Europe at Bayer Leverkusen and FC Bayern (Munich) have been nothing short of embarrassing for the proud player. At Leverkusen, Donovan turned in what some analysts consider the single worst performance in the history of the UEFA Champions League in a match against Liverpool.

After that match, Kicker and Bild magazine, the most prominent voices of German Fussball (Football), heaped scorn on the American. On Donovan’s return to Germany, earlier this year to feature for FC Bayern, skepticism reigned once again.

Despite being more mature than when he was at Leverkusen, Donovan failed to make an impact in Bavaria and was returned to MLS after just two and a half months.  More disturbing than his performances for Bayern, is the asking price Major League Soccer has reportedly put on the player.

According to various reports, the league wants $10 million to part with Donovan’s services on a permanent basis. While many American fans have described this price tag as a “bargain,” the truth is in terms of the European transfer market, no big club is going to pay that kind of money for a twenty seven year old who is perceived as a failure on the club level.

Donovan’s age works against him ever getting another shot in Europe after this stint at Everton. His reputation in Europe is poor, and without serious rehabilitation in this loan stint, he’s destined to see out his career in MLS.

Let’s hope for the good of American soccer, Donovan passes the Premier League test with flying colors. But pardon me, while I view this latest move by Donovan with skepticism.

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  1. Rex

    December 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    The English are sucking up American players so they can let them rot on their bench so the Yanks will be out of form when they match up against the English in the World Cup. Conspiracy i tell ya.

    • The Three Lions

      January 13, 2010 at 7:58 am

      LMAO. Your comments are so pathetic I don’t even know why I’m bothering to reply. David Moyes is Scottish. Do you really think he gives a damn about the English national team? He like any club manager cares only about the club they manage and doing whatever he can to improve that club. He has bought Donovan on loan for one reason only, because he feels that Donovan can do a job for him and for the club.
      England will give you a kicking no matter how often your players play or where they play. You’re going down.

  2. Charles

    December 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

    The Americans that want MLS, Landon to fail, but then complain about the US National Team not doing well.

    ddtigers and westcoast ape,
    But be careful you are going to incur the wrath of the Euro-lovers.
    Don’t say things like a guy can play in MLS and still be as good as if he sits on the bench in Europe. Europe is ALWAYS better…or you face the wrath of the socc…I mean football genius Euro-lovers.

    • Chris in Belfast

      December 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm

      Charles, I’m continuing our conversation from above, since it won’t let me reply anymore to that thread.

      I’d agree that (on its face) 5th isn’t much to get excited about. But in Everton’s case they weren’t that far off the top, and this year the top teams were *much* weaker. They’ve been hit by untimely injuries, which has them stuck at the wrong end of the table, but if they were healthy, I’d bet on them being in Spurs’ place right now. The current Spurs team wouldn’t have been where it is now this time last year, but the top has come back to the field to some degree this year.

      The key in England is getting into the top four and then letting that money reinforce itself as time carries on. But I digress a bit from my main point, which is that fifth in England gets you into Europa, which is a much higher caliber competition than anything else out there bar the Copa Libertadores and the Champions League. That’s also important, and people playing for teams that qualify again get to experience playing against continental competition that is generally much better than what’s on display in the US. With Everton still in Europa competition (don’t quote me on this, things change quickly there) this gives Landon a chance to play some international teams of high caliber. I think this is good for him, provided he gets real playing time.

      Also, I’d like to apologize for my opening salvo in our conversation.

  3. ddtigers

    December 11, 2009 at 12:37 am

    I agree with C Webb comments above. We already know LD is a good player if he wants to test himself in the EPL then I hope he does well.

    Who cares if he had a bad CL game years ago he has progressed past that. It makes sense that pundits and others in Europe want him to fail with loan moves/transfers to European leagues but we have too many “fans” in the USA who want him to fail as well.

    If LD never plays in Europe again, he is still USMNT best player and that includes the players who are in Europe. So how is that for irony.

  4. westcoast ape

    December 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    a) it is not as if Donovan has attached a $10M price tag to himself. I think most US fans understand that few European teams would ever want to pay that much for him, and unless he lights it up somehow at Everton, its not going to happen any time in the near future. MLS thinks he is worth millions because he is the biggest American star in our league, and the best American player in our league. So don’t act like he should be blamed for something he has no control over. MLS is a business – to them $10M is a profit that equates well with the money value they put on the player, its not $10M that would then go into a transfer kitty so they could go out and get some other $10M rated player. That’s not the way we operate (whether we like it or not).

    b) He didn’t “fail” at Bayern Munich. He tried to latch on, but Bayern wanted a back-up striker, because they were settled with Luca Toni and whoever the other guy was. (Gomez?) And, of course, its not like they were going to pay $10M for a third or fourth striker. The failure in that deal was on his agent’s part, because he should have gone somewhere that might actually have had some need for him. (Although price would still likely have been in the way, at least he could have had more than short substitute minutes).

    c) We know that EPL is a different standard than MLS. I would also agree that US players are not at the same standard as many other nationalities. But you sound like every other Euro-snob who talks about what a great player Dempsey is. Well, guess what? Dempsey was never half the player Donovan is in MLS, and he isn’t half the player Donovan is on the national team. So the argument that Dempsey is good because he is in the EPL is just that – he’s good because he’s in the EPL. And soon, that might be the case for Donovan as well.

  5. chris

    December 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I actually saw that Champions league game. The whole Leverkusen team was total crap and Landon did not play any worse than the others. He was not respondsible for any of the Liverpool goals if my memory is correct. Donovan was BAD that day but he was absolutely s’goated for the TEAM’S performance.
    I always wondered if any Euro player was treated like Donovan was that day if they would be talkng transfer before they even got to the locker room?

  6. Charles

    December 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I dont think Everton is giving him a trial, they are desperate to move up into 14th place or to play well in the Europa-losers Cup, or whatever worthless secondary goal EPL fans outside the Big 4 root for.
    Like you said no team is going to give up $10 million for him. He is invisible in the big games….see MLS Cup ’09.

    But why would you say “EARNED a permenant move to Europe”.
    Like playing for Everton is such a great deal. A player making $1 million like he is would be a fool to play over there for a team that has zero chance of winning.
    Only one reason I guess…more money.

    • Chris in Belfast

      December 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      I think it is safe to say that there is absolutely no way to talk sense into you.

      I take it you think it’s dumb that Howard’s playing for Everton, and Dempsey for Fulham, and Guzan for Villa?

      • Charles

        December 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

        Take money out of the equation and yes, they would be stupid to play at a place with no chance of winning in the next 20 years.
        But No, because they would not make $1 million dollars playing in MLS like Donovan does.
        Landon is doing this for the money, make no mistakes. In the meantime he is hurting his national team big time.

        Talk sense into me? What did I say that was wrong ? Everton stinks, signing Landon, if he scores an insane amount of goals gets them to what 10th place…nice.

        • Chris in Belfast

          December 11, 2009 at 11:33 am

          I’d contend that these guys have something else on their mind than money or winning: proving themselves. The level of play in the Premier League is higher than the level of play in MLS. These guys went to a league that will force them to get better and prove to other people that they’re good enough to play against the best in the world. It’s no coincidence– I think– that Tim Howard has become the player he is, that Dempsey’s sense on the pitch has improved, and that Guzan has smoothed out some of the wrinkles in his game in the back. Bocanegra improved massively while playing for Fulham, and again, I don’t think this is a coincidence.

          Playing against consistently excellent opposition will force guys to raise their game or fold. So is your reluctance to have Landon go because you fear he’ll fold? Sometimes it isn’t all about money, and it isn’t all about winning. It’s about being better and proving that your critics were wrong. Don’t forget that last year Everton finished fifth in the league. They’re down because of injury now, but healthy, that squad is tough and capable of competing at the top.

          • Charles

            December 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm

            No, not that Landon will fold, he has done that already and can still win some games. Look at the champions league, his play after this year’s MLS Cup ( hopefully ).
            But rather what does he gain ? He is costing the US a lot, he should be resting for something that will really make it mark, the World Cup. Plus the chance at injury/fatigue for a guy that overextends his season, a small guy on a small physical field.
            IF it is not about winning for LD, I will lose all respect.
            What is sports, it is about trying to win?
            Being excited about 5th place is a joke, IMHO.
            Not everyone will agree, see the EPL for a great example. When healthy Everton was a 200-1 shot to win.

          • Charles

            December 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

            Also, meant to say appreciate the viewpoint.

        • sucka99

          January 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

          Everton had a good look at an FA cup trophy last season

  7. L D not Landy Cakes

    December 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Anyone who really believes Donovan has earned a permanent move to Europe based on his national team performances is crazy.

    I disagree strongly with Kartik’s ascertian that Donovan is among the best international players in the world. This is a guy who always goes missing in big games for the usa. And please don’t say the Confederations Cup. Nobody outside the USA or Mexico gives a damn about that tournament.

    Everton is basically giving him a trial. No team is going to pay $10 million for a guy who failed THREE TIMES in the Bundesliga.

    He’s nice for MLS which is after a league that has been consistently ranked outside the top 50 by IFFHS.

    The USNT fans need to get a grip on reality.

    • short passes

      December 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      L.D. — you have hit on a critical point — Landon fades when we need him the most. In his defense, he isn’t the only player who does this. A prime example being Christiano Ronaldo. However, given his previous failures in Europe, if Donovan is ever to get past the “big fish in the small MLS pond” lable, he will have to shine at the World Cup or in his stint with Everton. Otherwise there is no way he can be called a world-class player. At some point you have to succeed against the best.

  8. Chris in Belfast

    December 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm


    I wasn’t really soccer-conscious when Landon turned in that dreadful performance in the Champion’s league. What exactly did he do poorly? I’ve never seen video of the game or read a report of it, so I’d just like to see what people at the time were saying.

    • The Gaffer

      December 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

      Chris, here’s the infamous minute-by-minute text commentary from 2005 when Landon Donovan played for Bayern Leverkusen against Liverpool. According to MBM commentator Barry Glendenning, this is how he described Donovan:

      “Landon Donovan is putting in the most inept performance of any professional footballer I’ve ever seen. His confidence is so shot to pieces that every time the ball comes anywhere near him he looks scared.”

      Read the following report for more Donovan gems from that game:

      The Gaffer

  9. Ryan

    December 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Good article, Kartik. And I’m glad to see the comments being up to the level of discourse I expect from MLStalk. But seriously, no one is questioning whether or not Donovan is good or not. He’s a top class athlete, and among the best this nation has produced when it comes to football, but the truth of the matter is that the top european clubs are on a different level than MLS. Not necessarily just in that they’re more established, but in the kinds of games and styles you’ll see in european clubs. In a world cup year, Donovan wants to test himself against world cup level talent, and he’s going to get that in the EPL. It’s not about making sure he has a place on the National team, it’s about getting his game to it’s top level before he leads his side to the world cup.

    And comparing Landy-cakes to Iniesta is a joke. The only thing Landon Donovan possesses that Andres iniesta does not is a receding hairline. And even there, Iniesta is pretty close.

  10. Charles

    December 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    100% agreement with why does an American player need Europe validation ?

    Also, is he really validating himself by bucking the trend of superstars.
    ie. Could Beckham start for Everton ? Yes, but why would he ?
    He can play for some club that will never win anything. Henry will be doing the same very soon and not that far off his peak. Joining MLS rather than waste away your career losing in non-parity leagues was/is a smart move.

    Oh but LD will play in the Europa-losers Cup. What a waste going to Europe.
    If he doesn’t do well in SA, worn out, he should be asking himself whether it was worth it…..

  11. hawth_kens

    December 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    You know what I view with skepticism? Krishnaiyer’s writing on USMNT related subjects. It’s not that technically sound, and his opinions are basically incoherent or so wildly inconsistent that they’re worthless. It’s almost like watching Jim Cramer talk about a stock on Mad Money. By the time he’s done raving about a company over the course of several shows you have no idea what his actual opinion is, or any way of judging his accuracy. Same thing with Krishnaiyer’s posts.

  12. jomario

    December 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    OK Kartik …I agree with the observation too, but what is the skill set he lacks at the club level that he has at the international level? My perception is that he does well against attacking teams because the he can use his pace on counters (e.g. Confederations Cup). But in tighter, grind-it-out games, where sides are more compact, his lack of size (and maybe toughness?) makes it so that he disappears. Is this what you mean? If so, then I agree that this is the last piece of his game he needs to show he’s world class. I hope he can show it at Everton, it would be a good confidence boost for him and for our chances going into South Africa.

  13. dan

    December 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    What about Europeans players lack of sucess in the USA not all of them but alot of them.

    • Matthew N

      December 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Well, I’m sure their stock took a heavy hit when they failed to perform. Generally though, players come to US when they don’t have anywhere else to go. They are too old or they are problem children. Only rarely do players come to the US when they are wanted elsewhere. So yeah, it is two-way street, but not really.

  14. RPF

    December 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Kartik is right about Donovan’s lack of success in Europe. I’ll just add that the reason MLS has set his asking price so high is that he is a real asset to them in terms of attracting fans and attention because of his international success, in a way that he’ll never be to any international club. “Captain America,” while no Beckham, is a draw to casual soccer fans in the USA in a way that legitimately makes him more valuable to MLS than he would be to a mid-league team in Europe like, say, Everton.

    So don’t be surprised if a permanent move never happens–Euro clubs aren’t likely to pay more than he’s worth on the field, and MLS isn’t likely to settle for less than he’s worth in total value.

  15. C Webb

    December 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    It always irks me when a player needs European validation to be considered a world class player.

    Landon is a world class player to the US, and honestly, that’s all that matters. I don’t give a flying F if he succeeds or fails in Europe. He’s the US’ best player.

    Could Landon be an even better player with success in Europe? Of course he can be, but his failure in Europe so far should’nt invalidate what a great player he is.

    Not all players that go to Europe become better players (Clint Mathis anyone?).

  16. Matthew N

    December 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Great read Kartik. I think you are spot on but I do not share your skepticism. I think Landon is ready to play in Europe.

  17. Eric Altshule

    December 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I am pretty optimistic about Donovan’s chances of doing well with Everton. Moyes is a great manager who values a strong work ethic, and Donovan knows he is at the Last Chance Saloon for a European career. The combination strikes me as a good one. Also, Everton has this quirky habit of going through a terrible autumn, righting themselves around Christmas and doing well in the spring. I would love Landon to be part of this season’s version of their rehabilitation.
    I know that the MLS wants a giant amount of money to sell Donovan, but I do think that is negotiable. Donovan’s contract has expired, but the MLS holds a two year option to extend the contract. I can foresee an arrangement where the MLS gives Donovan a Beckham-type loan agreement that allows him to spend the rest of the season with Everton, go to South Africa, and then come back to the MLS for the last three months of the season to generate a lot of post-World Cup ticket sales. Because the National team will form at the end of May, the MLS would only be losing Donovan for about six weeks of the regular season that they would otherwise have him. After the end of the 2010 MLS season, he could move back to Europe permanently next January.

    • Charles

      December 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm

      So under your scenerio, we should be rooting for him to fail?
      Him selling a ton of tickets for the league for the last three months means what, an extra 5k seats for 1/2 of a season ?
      Then he moves to Europe where he sells no tickets for MLS ?

      • Matthew N

        December 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

        If the MLS is going to be successful long term, the league and the play must be bigger than the stars. If Landon leaving the MLS is going to hurt it, then the MLS isn’t doing something right. Players come and go, that is the nature of football. I am rooting for Landon to make it in England because he will play in front of much more people and make a lot more money than he will here. Sure, it would be nice if he came back here so I could watch him when LA visits my local team, but I really hope his career starts to progress.


    December 10, 2009 at 11:41 am


    • dan

      December 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      Wow you know nothing about the USA. When you say Yanks you do realize that your only talking a bout a Region of this country and that is the Northeast area. You Brits are funny with your Mr. Ed teeth. Dont be mad that we beat you in a small little war called THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

      • Matthew N

        December 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

        the Yanks is the nickname of our Men’s National Team.. Just like England is the Three Lions and Costa Rica is the Ticos, etc.

    • short passes

      December 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

      If you’re going to try to use US southern colloquialisms, please spell them properly — the term is “whupped”, whupping”, or “whuppin”

  19. Lucky Luciano

    December 10, 2009 at 11:39 am

    This move doesn’t make sense for Landon.

    With a loan deal – when it comes to selection you are always going to be more likely to be benched than the ‘staff guy’ and in a World Cup year Landon should be using his break to get refreshed and ready for the MLS season in March and then the World Cup.

    Unlike Beckham – Donovan doesn’t have to prove his form or fitness to his national team coach. What’s it all about then really?

    Donovan risks fatigue, injury, disappointment in Europe yet again and all for what?

    A chance to play for a struggling team for a few weeks?

    • John

      December 11, 2009 at 4:07 am

      Lucky, I am an Everton fan and I we already have a loan striker who plays who is terrible called Jo.

      This will be an excellent move for him and his experince. WHat better way for him to prepare for the world cup by playin against and with some of the players he will be playing against in the 1st game.

      PS David Moyes the Everton manager is regarded as the best around, outside Sir Alex and Wenger, so he will be in safe hands.

      PS the team are struggling as they have their best 5 players injured and a full first team out at the moment, could be an excellent chance for Jason, sorry, landon Donavan

  20. Mike

    December 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Good article. I agree with your points. I for one will be heavily rooting for Lando to succeed this time. Big fan of the guy.

  21. Ray Smith

    December 10, 2009 at 10:42 am

    My only issue with this article its observation that his last stint in Germany was a failure. I didn’t watch every match and I didn’t read every match report while he was there, but every thing I saw and read was positive. In fact the impression that I got was that Klinsman was inclined to keep him, but when he was sacked so were Landon’s chances of getting a full offer. Admittedly Landon was Klinsman’s boy and the staff that came after him wanted nothing to do with him. However, I think that had more to do with his reputation then his play.

  22. short passes

    December 10, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I don’t understand why some MLS fans go ballistic when someone states the fact that US players, even the best like Donovan, don’t YET measure up to international standards. There is no shame in this. Despite the success of MLS, we are still relative newcomers on the world stage. It’s only recently that the US has begun to dominate the CONCACAF — and even that domination is sometimes suspect. And CONCACAF is generally among the weakest regions, excepting the Asia-Pacific.
    It’s a cliche that you can’t solve a problem unless you admit that you have one. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t support MLS, (we definitely should — Go Fire!!) but we need to be discriminating supporters, applauding when appropriate and criticizing when necessary. Blind bravado and hubris are not going to improve the level of US players.

    Does Italy or Spain claim that their basketball leagues are equal to the NBA?? Why should we correspondingly assume that we must be the best in a game they have been playing seriously for 100 years.

    • Charles

      December 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      I don’t have any dillusions about the MLS being great.
      CCL might be a little skewed as a gage, but not enough to say MLS could be successful.
      BUT the USMNT is on the edge of being a seeded team, so while the teams might not be even be good, they do have some very good/great players.

    • sucka99

      January 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      Sarunas Jasekevicius (Latvian basketballer) was a failure in the NBA because he wasn’t quick enough on defense, but he’s a Eurobasket, Euroleague, and FIBA legend.

      not an exact comparison with Landon, but some context around the NBA/Europe example

  23. Ian

    December 10, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I agree 99% with this article also except one very notable thing. Andrei Arshavin is not in the top 25 club or international players. Russia failed to make the World Cup losing to Slovenia (who will be lucky to get a point in the World Cup) and his play with Zenit while outstanding was not World Class. With Arsenal he is good but not great.

    Maybe your promotion of Russian Football Now has clouded your judgement on Russian players.

    • Chris in Belfast

      December 10, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      I think you’re wrong on all counts here.

      Slovenia finished second in their not easy group, and then took Russia over two legs. Not an easy feat. They’ll take points in the group next summer, I’m sure of it.
      He’s an absolute legend at Zenit. Have you been to Russia? Petersburgers speak of his play with them with reverence. The only reason you don’t get that is that we don’t see Russian ball very often.
      His play at Arsenal has almost singlehandedly won them games on many occasions. He’s well on his way to becoming an Arsenal legend as well. You should hear Arsenal supporters talk about him over here.

  24. tg

    December 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Four-Four-Two did a best 100 Footballers List in their last issue.

    Absent from the list: Landon Donovan.

    • chris

      December 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm

      I saw that crap article….Donavan no? OK, but not to have either Tim Howard or Brad Friedal on that list showed bias against Americans.

      • tg

        December 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

        Totally agree Chris.

        In fact, the only North American to make the list was Wilson Palacios. A great, great player (Top 5 in the continent?), but I think he only made the list because he plays for Spurs.

  25. Pyro

    December 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I agree almost 99% with this article. I believe that Kartik’s observations on the view of Donovan from Europe (fair or not) is accurate. Unfortunatley, this view has also clouded Kartik’s view of Donovan as a club player. While almost all of us are in agreement that MLS is not a top tier league, the most dominant (or legendary as KK says) MLS player of the past decade or so should surely rank among the top 500 current club players in the world regardless of his experiences in top tiered leauges. Very similar to Blanco who at age 27 would have be considered (in my opinion) among the top 200 club players in the world despite playing in a second tier league and a failed trip to La Liga. These players club impact have been so enormous that regardless of the quality of league they are playing in, the still must be counted as highly influential.

  26. Bryan

    December 10, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Good for him. If it’s a loan like this, does that mean he’ll be back for the next MLS season? or there still a chance he’ll be gone for that. When does this go into effect? January?

  27. Tim

    December 10, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Kartik once again proves he is in the eurosnob camp.

    Donovan is better than 90% of the players in the Bundesliga but was never given a fair chance in either place.

    His accomplishments in MLS speak for themself, and any club on the plent would want him. $10 million? That’s a steal for a player who was better than Iniesta, who you name and the other Spanish players in the Confederations Cup.

    The world watched that, FIFA’s second most important tournament and came away impressed.

    Only the Eurosnobs and Brits who are scared to admit the US actually has a player better than England’s best continue to write this sort of crap.

    This article ought to be deleted.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      December 10, 2009 at 9:54 am

      Donovan is better than 90% of the players in the Bundesliga but was never given a fair chance in either place.

      I watch the Bundesliga regularly and watched Donovan in that league and your 90% figure is way off. On the coaches they were all overly fair to him, almost to a fault.

      His accomplishments in MLS speak for themself, and any club on the plent would want him. $10 million? That’s a steal for a player who was better than Iniesta, who you name and the other Spanish players in the Confederations Cup.

      $10 million is much more than any bigger club would be willing to spend on a player of Donovan’s perceived quality and his age, 27. As for Iniesta, he missed the Confederations Cup.

      If the world was so awed by Donovan, why have no teams to our knowledge met MLS asking price for him?

      Only the Eurosnobs and Brits who are scared to admit the US actually has a player better than England’s best continue to write this sort of crap.

      I like Landon a great deal, but to claim he is better than England’s best player is simply ignorant.

      • Casey

        December 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

        Unlike Rooney, Lampard, and Defoe (the current attacking threats of England), Donovan has scored in the World Cup – twice. Only the ignorant would ignore such a statistic. And if you plan to retort that those goals were in ’02, I will point to the recent goal scored sublimely against Brazil this summer. Did anyone on England’s squad manage to do that in the recent friendly?

        What is the biggest stage on which a footballer can perform? If the answer is the World Cup, your skepticism is unfounded and your evaluation of English talent is generous.

        • LI Matt

          December 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

          Donovan has scored in the World Cup

          So has Peter Crouch. What’s your point?

          • Casey

            December 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm

            Have you seen Crouch’s goal? He needed two handfuls of T&T dreadlocks to jump above someone a foot shorter than him.

            And if you can’t see my point, I’m not really talking to you.

        • Jeff

          December 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm

          Casey, what you don’t realize is that you are in agreement with Kartik. He says in his article that he considers Donovan to be one of the “ten most influential international footballers on the planet”. And all you are stating reinforces this opinion being that Donovan is great when he pulls on the red, white and blue jersey, but is crap when he has pulled on European CLUB jerseys.
          Kartik does not say that he thinks Donovan is crap. There are many players who are the exact opposite. Some AMAZING players never were ever to shine for their national teams at the stage that Donovan has, including George Best, Alfredo Di Stefano, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, George Weah, Ian Rush and Jari Litmanen.
          But they were AMAZING when playing with their clubs.
          Some players just gell with their national team and can pull them through their qualifiers; some get stuck with mediocre national squad teammates or with intense competition at the qualifying level that deny them that opportunity.
          However, Landon has demonstrated that he can (with the excpetion of 2006) be great when representing his national team. But for his club, what has he done at the CONCACAF level? He bombed out of Europe… twice. He might get voted MVP of the league, but that isn’t saying too much. His real opponents in that realm were Barros Schellotto and Blanco. Both of them great players, but in their mid-thirties.
          In other words, you agree with Kartik. Everything you state (and you state some real duzzies, like him being better than Iniesta… come on… ) is Landon at the national level. This article is about him playing at a CLUB! There is no article questioning his ability on the national team.

    • Patrick Johnson

      December 10, 2009 at 9:59 am

      Tim, thank you for showing how clueless you are. Do the world a favor and stop watching the sport and finding something more on your wave length…like Go Fish.

      The Confederation’s Cup the second most important tourney? More like a fine tune up for the World Cup. Read and comprehend: it goes World Cup, Euros, Copa America, African Cup of Nations, Asian Cup, Confederations Cup, and Gold Cup. That’s just the facts buddy.

      He did get a fair shake in the Bundesliga. Not once, not twice, but three times (and the third time with someone who really wanted to bring him over). The only problem to your severely flawed argument is when his good buddy California Klingy couldn’t justify starting him despite going behind the board’s back to get him on loan, he was never going to make it in Germany. If he can’t handle the physical nature of the Bundesliga, I give him no shot in an even more physical Premier League.

      Frankly Donovan is at best a 5 million dollar buy in Europe. When you fail three times in three different attempts in the Bundesliga (granted the third on was on loan…but it was a failure), you end up with no reputation and justifiably so. He bombs in this loan to Everton, he will be laughed and mocked at during the World Cup and will have to cosign to the fact he will have to spend the rest of his playing career in the United States. While there is no shame in that, it will be a massive stain on his professional career.

      • Chris in Belfast

        December 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

        I have to disagree with this characterization of Landon’s time with Bayern. Klinsmann was already on his way out when Landon came in, and the the suits didn’t want him to succeed. Klinsmann might have, but by that point what he wanted wasn’t going to keep Landon around. He only had a couple of months to make an impact on a board that was predisposed to dislike him. It was a bad move on his part, simply because there was no way he’d succeed. But that team is a shambles right now, and I’d be if they weren’t so proud and delusional of their state in the European game they’d be happy to have him back.

  28. BayVol

    December 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Why are you skeptical? This is a nice short term loan which I feel, given the opportunity, Landon will take advantage of. I understand some uneasiness due to the stints in Germany but this situation is completely different. Maturity comes into play, and I feel he understands what this opportunity means to him and his international career. American fans all want him to be successful and I will be surprised if he does not make an impact (if he sees the field on a consistent basis).

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