Saturday, May 26, 2012

On Tap: USA v Scotland

Game starts at 8 p.m. in Jacksonville, but we get the tailgate started early at NSC. Pop some tops and let's get to it.

The most intriguing news to come out of camp this week were perplexing comments from Donovan that put voice to the lackluster visuals we've been seeing from LD in MLS this season. They are, in case you hadn't read them, as follows.
I think all players reach a point in their career where it's natural to lose some of that hunger, that desire, to sort of break out or be a star. … That's a part that's always a challenge for athletes: trying to keep the passion alive while knowing it's still your job. There's no question that, at some point, probably sooner rather than later, I'll be pretty burned out. … There's a natural point where it's not as fun anymore, not as enjoyable and you still try to find ways to keep it enjoyable.
Donovan found joy at Everton and, more importantly, whipped up an exuberant second wind that typically doesn't hit soccer players at 30. It's no secret why Donovan suddenly went from career form to the gutter in a month's time. The fire in the belly just isn't there, and for a guy who's summited MLS four times, why should it be? There is, aside from a comfortable bed and a convenient English-speaking LA culture, literally nothing more for Donovan in MLS. His comments worry me for his USMNT form merely because there is no switch to be thrown here for immediate effectiveness. He will need to find his legs on a daily basis before he does it with his Nats buddies.

My vote is to see a midfield at some point with Donovan, Corona and Torres. Seeing Gooch paired with Boca in the center will be salve for a position that's rotated guys for months, and I'm interested to see if Wondo's blistering domestic form ever truly translates to the big stage. Still waiting, still hopeful.

- Fever pitch in Jax? That's a hard sell
- A preview
- Kenny Miller takes awkward photos
- The Scots love Orlando? Couldn't imagine a weather difference
- The Scottish starting XI
- Some US-Scotland history for the masses

- Will Parchman


Chevis Ryder said...

I will always love the kid's honesty. We've always known that the competitive fire does not burn like it does in someone like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.

However I doubt he's going to have a hard time getting up for a game in which he wears the red white and blue.

gonavy said...

At this point, LD is replaceable as aplayer. He has given so much to US Soccer and perhaps his stint as a player is done. I could see him paired up with John Harkes as an announcer and/or analyst (he would be better than Twellman). Better yet, working with Claudia Reyna in Youth Development for US Soccer. LD is the face of US Soccer.

Desert Rat said...

I said at the time that he signed the contract extension with the Galaxy a couple of years ago that he was making a big mistake. If he hadn't signed the extension, an English suitor would have come calling, and being out of contract, there would have been nothing MLS could have done about it.

I know Donovan likes Southern California (who wouldn't), but you can enjoy the beach, the girls, and the lifestyle just as comfortably in LA at 35 as you can 30.

Jacob Klinger said...

The guy has plenty left to give for the Nats and anyone else. I think the retirement talk's a little premature.

Of course, if he doesn't want it, there's nothing else to be said about that.

Tony M said...

Not picking on you gonavy, but I think you were a little premature, don't you?

My feeling is that Donovan has been setting the stage for a summer move to Everton. His distracted form in MLS is not uncommon among people waiting to make the move. The retirement talk followed by vague speculation that he would go back to Everton "if they wanted him" is his way of getting both sides to move. The emphatic performance against Scotland is another message as well