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Donovan Extends Galaxy Contract, to be Loaned to Everton


Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy announced an agreement today where Donovan has signed an extended contract with the Galaxy taking him through the 2013 MLS season.  It seems an agreement is also in the works to allow Donovan to spend from January 1 to mid-March on loan with Everton. 

In a statement put out by the Galaxy, Donovan said, “I am excited to be able to pledge my future to the Galaxy by signing this new contract.  I have enjoyed my time with the Galaxy and am committed to helping bring the club another MLS Cup championship. I believe in this team and I want to be a part of its bright future. This is a great day for me both personally and professionally and I look forward to many successful years ahead.”

Interestingly, Donovan said he would not have signed the new deal, which reportedly doubles his previous $900,000 annual salary, unless he was allowed to go out on loan.  Presuming the loan with Everton goes through, the deal will allow Donovan to spend a little time playing in England ahead of the World Cup. 

From the Galaxy’s standpoint, it was critical to sign Donovan to a new contract before any loan deal was finalized.  If Donovan does well with Everton, and then has a good World Cup, there could be many suitors for him later.  Having Donovan sign a new contract puts the Galaxy and the MLS in a strong position to either resist any offers or to get the maximum benefit from any offer they choose to accept. 

For Donovan, he is also now in a no-lose situation.  In the worst case scenario, he has a guaranteed four year contract at about $1.8 million annually.  However, that $1.8 million (about £22,000 per week in England) is far below what most significant players in England make.  If he does impress at Everton and in South Africa, the MLS will be in a position to demand a sizeable transfer fee and Donovan will be in a position to earn far more than what he can in the MLS.

With his future secured, one way or another, Donovan is now free to put all his energy into his 2010 football – a year that will undoubtedly be the most important of his career.

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  1. henrylow

    December 28, 2009 at 1:28 am

    There’s a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

    latest trend

  2. Charles

    December 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

    BTW, there is a great article on the CBA for MLS from the players perspective in the Seattle Times this AM.
    I am not sure if I can include links, so I will post this twice…once without the link,in case it gets deleted with the link.

    Sounders FC players fear a lockout in February

    • Lars

      December 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

      I find Seattle articles on MLS arrogant to the nth degree…

      They don’t even acknowledge the huge success of clubs like Toronto FC, let alone the absolute success which was DC United.

      Every time I read a Seattle article, I’m “reminded” about how MLS was a huge failure before Seattle came along.

      Sorry, the league was successful before people started with loser Marching Bands and corporate organized supporters. It started with grassroots movements in Washington, D.C. and spread to a number of different clubs.

      Are there places which could do it better?

      Without a doubt, but the league didn’t “need” Seattle, Seattle came and added to what was already successful.

      You ask me why I hate on Seattle all the time Charles, it’s because of the absolute arrogance with flows out of the city and the total lack of respect paid from Seattle to the rest of the league (minus Columbus, they can go die in a fire).

  3. Charles

    December 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I don’t think we disagree at all.

    One player movements, I don’t think it is right to restrict them.
    Maybe necessary, but they are walking a fine line of having guys never even start in MLS, when MLS does that.
    Two, we love MLS and think it will become one of the best in the world. I think THE best, you think one of the best.

    You didn’t adress what I was talking about…”not happy for the USMNT”
    I think this is great for the USMNT. We HAVE to have a strong league here.
    This isn’t Brazil, not everyone wants to be Pele here.
    Landon isn’t hurting himself by avoiding playing for some loser English team.
    Interesting note, I just read someone quoting him as saying he was sick of playing on a losing team with the Galaxy. What ? he was the biggest part of that team and he just signed with Everton….LD EVERTON WILL NEVER WIN…EVER….THEY ARE IN 16TH.

  4. short passes

    December 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Charles — sorry but I have to disagree –in general. However, first a few preliminaries. I am a big fan and supporter of MLS and I believe that they will eventually be one of the major leagues in the world. I also believe that the best soccer in the world is still being played in several of the major Euro leagues — England, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany (pretty much in that order too. However, that said, the lower levels of those leagues can be and are pretty awful. Finally, some big mistakes have indeed been made in where some players have been sent — Freddy Adu being the most recent.
    Given all that, there are a few things that must be admitted: (1) the MLS is not yet a rich league. It could not afford to pay the salaries of the current batch of foreign legionaires. And, if they tried to stifle the opportunities for players to move overseas they would have a player revolt and it would probably discourage future talent from even signing initially with MLS. Athletes have a very limited time to make their marks financially and athletically. To limit their opportunities is not just illegal, it’s wrong.
    MLS is already a success—it has survived 14? years far longer than any of the cynics predicted. They are improving financially and on the field. Comparison of today’s teams with those of 1996 show outstanding gains. We still have a distance to go and it’s important that we recognize that.
    Besides attending games and following the teams, the soccer community needs to makes its wishes known to the US media. Blaming Euro bigots for the type of ESPN coverage accomplishes nothing. Instead we need to make all of the media outlets aware of the MLS soccer community. Blogs like this need to use their influence to organize such efforts. Kartik–are you listening.

  5. Charles

    December 17, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Another day, forget that, I am discussing it right now.
    We have had the best players to Europe strategy in place right now for the 15 years of MLS existance. Outside of a great run in 2002 and a Conf Cup, you have seen DFL ( dead last ) finishes in two world cups.
    Until this country gets a decent league forget having a great national team.

    This is a pivotal moment for soccer in this country. Can we keep the talent at home where it HAS to be to attract fans ? The LD signing ( if he stays ) was huge. Holden and others will be too. Let’s face it if MLS can pay $500k-$2 million for the national team guys, you are going to get more talent into soccer, and with a rare exception you are going to start to see the NT guys stay.
    The alternative, play in a foreign country, maybe sit on the bench, and almost certainly, about 100% certain, for a team with no chance of winning.

  6. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    December 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

    It’s a great day for MLS consider a few things.

    – MLS is now one of only a handful of leagues that has its best national team player locked up, long term to sign in that league. Even the likes of Germany, France and Mexico have been losing their top national team players recently. In Germany’s case, they have been drifting back to the Bundesliga in the last 3-5 years though with a few exceptions.
    – MLS now has the most marketable player to play stateside since Pele, under LONG TERM CONTRACT. I am not sure why they would sell him.
    – MLS now shows it is willing to pay top dollar to keep American talent at home. Presumably gone are the days when the Brian West’s, the Danny Califf’s and the Chris Rolfe’s had to flee to Scandinavia to try and get a fair market wage. Finally, MLS shows the American player will not be discriminated against in our domestic top flight in favor of journeymen foreign players who get more money and make less significant contributions than their American counterparts.

    As for Donovan, it makes it very difficult for him to secure a deal in Europe long term and it may be damaging to his ambition as a player. MLS’ has already overvalued him on the transfer market and now surely his value since he is under a long term contract is even higher.

    AS a USMNT fan, I am not happy at all about this deal. But that is a discussion for another day. For now let us toast MLS and give the league props for a job well done.

  7. Nick

    December 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I suspect that Donovan’s agent did procure some longer-term offers to play in the EPL, but MLS simply made a better offer. At MLS, Donovan gets a significant raise, stays in sunny LA, and gets the freedom to try out the EPL for a few months.

    BTW, in terms of economics, Donovan’s growth as a player is the least important factor in these deals. If the USA has a successful World Cub and there is increased demand for MLS games with Donovan on the pitch, MLS will make a rational business decision and refuse any transfer. So, any increases in his domestic popularity will work against a future transfer to the EPL. Ultimately, I suspect that Landy Cakes continues to have a greater economic impact as the face of the MLS (in national marketing, etc.) than he does as just another “good” player on an EPL team.

  8. ddtigers

    December 16, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I would like LD to go overseas not just on loan. Will MLS really make this so if he does good on loan and in the World Cup?

    • Charles

      December 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

      Why ?

  9. Monkeyboy2000

    December 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    So does this make Donovan Designated Player #2 for the Galaxy ?

    Will MLS force the Galaxy to trade for another team’s DP in order to make this legit ?

    Hmm, more rule bending by MLS to keep Donovan and the Galaxy happy at the expense of the other teams in the league.

    • Eric Altshule

      December 16, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      The Galaxy had two designated players and Donovan was one of them. He was grandfathered in as a DP when the Beckham rule was enacted.

      • Lars

        December 17, 2009 at 1:19 am

        Which only proves the point. The league bends over backwards to make LA successful.

      • Monkeyboy2000

        December 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm

        I thought the whole “grandfathering” was because of his current contract at the time MLS came up with the whole DP rule, not because Donovan was himself considered a DP. Now with a brand new contract, the “grandfathering” still holds ? So basically MLS can pay Donovan whatever they like for the rest of his life and his whole salary will not count against the cap ? Nice for the Galaxy. Sucks for the rest of the teams that don’t have that luxury.

  10. Kyle

    December 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I’m just worried that the Galaxy and MLS will hold back Donovan’s development and possibilities. What if he tears it up in England? MLS is likely to want an excessively transfer fee and scare off potential teams, basically pigeonholing Donovan into returning to the Galaxy. This has the potential to be an ugly situation. I see this contract extension as a “win-win” for MLS, not for Donovan.

    • Charles

      December 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

      What if he tears it up in England ?
      The Galaxy was tying every game they played in until Beckham showed up.
      Now he is going to a team that is far worse than the top of the league, with no chance of winning it all, how is he going to tear it up ?

      In my opinion, he is being very selfish in not resting and focusing on the World Cup, something that can make a career. Who doesn’t still love Tony Meola ? Lalas is on TV for pete sake.

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