Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wahl: Donovan signing L.A. extension

Color me unsurprised, if not also a little disappointed at the lack of adventure and concerned to now have the two main USMNT attack engines stationed in Major League Soccer. Don't get me wrong, it's not some great slight against the home game. It's just that it has a match pace well off that of a World Cup encounter and I'm a natural-born worrier. Nevertheless, it's obviously what he wanted all along.



- Greg Seltzer

62 comments:

Jon said...

Having two of our top 3 players player in a league probably outside the top 15, if not top 20 in the world is not ideal. Far too big a difference in tempo/pressure in MLS compared to the top 4 leagues.

Doesn't mean Landon and Clint can't or won't be successful, but I don't think they'll be as sharp as they could be playing in a better league. And for anyone calling that opinion BS, even Landon himself has admitted he's coasted in MLS. He doesn't need to be on top of his game to dominate at the MLS level.

Disappointing. Landon has always had a lack of ambition to play with the best. His choice of course, but the top footballers don't weigh long walks on the beach with their dogs above playing in a top league.

Back to Landycakes for me.

Kurt breckheimer said...

@Jon....I'm so glad to read that Landon Donovan is "back to landycakes" for you, I was so waiting for your opinion. The facts, however, are that Landon has done everything that any professional athlete could ever hope for. Break in at a young age, have a successful club career(multiple championships), become financially stable and thus have the freedom to choose your own path, represent your country, become the greatest statistical player in the history of your country, play in upper echelon leauges (with varying degrees of success or not, he did it),and represent your country in multiple world cups. So before you reduce the greatest footballer this country has ever seen to some silly nickname, attempt to recall what this man has done for club, country, and sport in this country. You have no idea what the top footballers weigh when selecting a league. Fact is, often top footballers are from countries in or around the top leauges in the world, thus allowing them to be able to play close to home and make their choice fairly easy. Luckily for US soccer, Landon Donovan is able to be his own man and not care what ill thought out critics such as yourself think of him.

Back to US baller ever for me.

Jayboy said...

It's fun to watch Clint/LD play against top teams but realistically both of them are not going to feature in the WC in 2018. To a certain degree I see this and Dempsey's deals as huge for MLS, positive for the players, and neutral for the Nats.

The fact is, LD has been our best player for a long time by playing in MLS. While it would probably reduce my US Soccer inferiority complex if he had gone on to win the Champions League at Real Madrid, I don't think 3 decent years at Everton vs. a legendary career in MLS really matters at all in the grand scheme of things.

Bernardinho said...

^ This.

couchtoast said...

Hey, Jon, what club did Donovan play for prior to having an excellent World Cup 2010?? Riiiiiiiiight.

dikranovich said...

Greg, you are turning into Matthew from tsg, and that is not a good thing. And you fancy yourself a warrior.

Jon said...

@Kurt breckheimer, no, Landon has not accomplished everything a pro athlete or soccer player could ever hope for.

Never won a WC. Never won a Confed Cup. Never played more than a few weeks in a top league. Never did anything in UCL or Europa. Never got an award for anything in a top league. Never played with the best players for more than a few weeks at a time.

How about you start a list of all the top footballers who never played in a top 4 league for more than 2 months at a time. I'll wait. I'm not referring to players who stayed in a smaller league a little longer than usual before making the jump or guys going home to smaller leagues earlier than expected like Clint.

I'm talking top players who never committed to playing in a top 4 league at all for even a half season. Show me your list of all the top players who took all this other off the pitch crap into consideration and put more stock in comfort in sub top 15-20 leagues than playing in a top 4 league.

I'll wait.

Jon said...

@coachtoast, that's a straw man argument. You have no idea if Landon would have had a better WC had he played in a top 4 league all along.

And oh yeah, he played at Everton during a loan prior to that WC. Why? To keep him sharper as the MLS level isn't good enough.

But, he also was afraid to commit to Everton. Today is more evidence as to why. Landycakers prefers long walks on SoCal beaches. Had more respect to Beckham who forced loans at AC Millan to keep sharp and help prepare for the WC. Only problem was his achilles didn't hold up. He at least had the balls to try though.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ dikranovich: And yet again, I have no idea what you're on about.

couchtoast said...

And you have no idea if he would have played WORSE in in WC2010 as a result of playing in a top 4 league, such as if, for example, he was miserable living away from home for and extended period of time and had a ruined psyche.

And I also love how from one comment to the next, playing at Everton for a short period of time doesn't matter, and suddenly it does matter!!

You've basically just boiled your argument down to one unsupportable position - a player is only as good as the league he plays in, and no other factors contribute (again, such as a player's happiness). By your logic Neymar sucked while he played in Brazil because it isnt a top 4 league. I repeat, riiiiiiiight.

Jon said...

There's a much larger track record of players performing well in the WC who play regularly in top 4 league than leagues ranked between 15-20. Much larger track record.

And yes there is evidence Landon believes this himself. It's why he went on loan to a better league prior to the WC.

And you worrying about his psyche and whether he would crumble from a bit of homesickness is why people call him Landycakes. Poor Landon, being a fan favorite for an EPL club while earning millions would just be such a tough life. I'm sure those living in Iraq or Somalia would feel for his pain and homesickness.

And the challenge still stands. Someone start a list of all the top footballers who spent 90% or more of their careers in a league probably ranked around #20 in the world.

BTW, you're again using a straw man with the Neymar argument. That's common with MLS fanboys. Straw men galore. I never said Neymar sucked, nor did I say Landon sucked. But if you followed Neymar common consensus from those around him was he needed to go to Europe and a top league to improve, stay sharper, build on his weaknesses, test his metal, etc, and far ans away like most top footballers he took the challenge. You don't think he likes long walks on Brazilian beaches? They're better than SoCal beaches, yet, football came first, not thongs. And no one said Landon sucks or staying in MLS made him such. Stay on topic. The argument is he likely would have been a bit better for playing in a far suerior league, and him going on loan prior to the WC supports that. He's said it himself.

Jon said...

Maybe Landon is afraid to go overseas because he can't keep his pecker in his pants.

But seriously, his happiness, his homesickness? This crap is only brought up with Landon. Every other top footballer until someone starts naming names of top players who spent most of their career in the 20th best best league in the world didn't make the happiness or homesickness excuse. They battled it out. Clint lasted 6.5 years. Would have been longer but he was deemed surplus at Spurs. top footballers from South America, Eastern Europe and Asia go to Western Europe and battle it out all the time.

Don't think they're a bit unhappy or homesick at times? Of course they are. They just have stronger mentalities. Landon suffers from enjoying the big fish in small pond syndrome too much. All the top players in MLS have done what he doesn't have the balls to do. Keane, not too afraid to move from the UK to LA. Becks, wasn't afraid to move from Europe to LA, or go back to Milan. Henry, not too afraid to move across the pond from France. Clint, not afraid to move to London.

Landycakes, never did it. Scared and comfortable.

Kurt breckheimer said...

@Jon.....sorry buddy, that's a list of accomplishments that YOU would like him to have, or better yet that every footballer would dream to have. I bet he also wishes that he could fly like super man. I guess he will just have to settle for being a wealthy, winning, happy soccer player instead. Who once again is the best player that this country has ever produced, while playing in the domestic league that he in large part helped establish. I'm sure you get all excited by MLS capturing the likes of Robbie keane, and Henry, but cant see the forest through the trees......DONOVAN HAS ABEEN A WORLD CLASS BALLER ALL ALONG.

Kurt breckheimer said...

@jon....by the way, some guy named PELE played in brazil for 19 years while becoming the best player in the history of the sport......that list seems sufficient to me.

couchtoast said...

Listen, you can be upset all you want that Donovan is the type of player where happiness and psyche have an impact on his performance. But just #(*@& accept it. All of your arguments are undermined by your inability to see soccer players as human beings, and not just products of the league they play in. Donovan will be better prepared to excel at WC2014 by playing in a league where he is happy. It's not all black and white like you want to make it out to be.

dikranovich said...

did pele ever play in Europe? for a club team, I mean.

dikranovich said...

how good a league is the Norway first division, or whatever scandanavian league it is that mix disk} plays in?

dikranovich said...

damn kurt, please don't steal my thunder....

dikranovich said...

im just gonna let KB win this debate and ill work on the other kb.

dikranovich said...

I will say, that many a brasilian would not say pele is the best ever, but they themselves would pick garrincha. Europe could only dreamed of having him.

Jon said...

I'm sure you all would be just as pleased with our top players playing in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Championship, 2Bund or any other league somewhat similar in quality to MLS.

Not.

This is where you fanboys let your MLS bias comes into play. If Jozy went to Norway or Sweden, many would ask, WTF is he thinking. If Bradley moved to the Championship, many would ask WTF is he thinking. Hell, most think there's no way he should go to Sunderland because it's a step down.

Yet, because it's MLS, that line of thinking is ignored. so if Bradley moved to Sunderland it's a step down and there's no way he should do it, nevermind it's the EPL, yet when Clint comes home and Landon decided the maybe 20th best league in the world is the best level for him, it's fine. It's celebrated.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

And PELE doesn't prove anything. It actually supports my point about how extremely rare it is for a legit top footballer to play in sub top 15-20 league and be as good as he can be. Nevermind the league PELE did play in, 600+ games, was in a superior league to MLS and for a bigger club than LAG.

dikranovich said...

upper case jon, you are the problem. that much should be clear to everyone. MLS fanboys??? come on now, is that even nice to say at all, as if you are above it. where was your punk ass when it was NASL fanboys?

you are gonna be my little pet project from today forth.

couchtoast said...

I can't speak for other posters, but for me, this whole argument has nothing to do with MLS. My position would be the exact same if Donovan played in any other league outside the top 4. Just let him play wherever it makes him happy and puts him in the best mental condition to excel at the World Cup (within reason - I'll admit I don't want him settling down in my adult co-ed recreational league).

But thanks for the blanket assumption, anyway.

dikranovich said...

couch toast. the top four leagues is a myth my friend.

Kurt breckheimer said...

@jon.....look back at your original statement. YOU have decided that Donovan is soft for not playing in a league that you deem suitable. All I'm saying is that perhaps you are not qualified to judge and you don't know what he would have been had he played his entire career elsewhere. What you and all of us do know, is that based on statistics he is the best American player of all time....FACT NOT OPINION. Once again, if he is dumbed down to "landycakes" for you, you must of some great resume.

dikranovich said...

one of the truths is that these players coming from all over the world to play in europe, really these players are mostly already in Europe. Didier drogba did not say, oh, I think ill leave cote dvoire and go test myself in Europe, he grew up in the French system, in france.

this whole debate really comes down to rel/ pro versus the system that is in place here in America.

where is the Mexican club league in this whole debate? are they a top ten league in the world? what say you greg? they really have to be, the way they have gone into south America and done so well. maybe closer to top five. yikes....

Miles Kint said...

This is the last big payday for Clint and Landon. Makes sense to go wherever they can get the most money. Landon has more value to the Galaxy than most European clubs because of his unique market power in the USA. End of story.

Neither one of these guys is going to be a regular contributor for the Nats in another 3-4 years, so I don't really care where they play their club ball as long as they're ready for Brazil. I know that Clint's contract allegedly has a winter loan clause for this year and I wouldn't be surprised if Landon has a similar option. Works for me.

I'd say it's far more important for our young players to push themselves to a higher level than our older guys who have already been there/done that.

John said...

@Kurt breickhemer: Sorry but you're wrong. I like & respect Donovan for what he has done for the U.S. MNT, but he's not & never was World Class. For a player to be World Class he needs to be a top 5 player in a top 4 league on a consistent basis.

John said...

@dikranovich The Mexican league is a top 10-15 league in the world IMO.

dikranovich said...

people, please, be more organic in the way you see soccer, instead of all this top five, top four, BS. ok please, losers talk about who is top five, winners talk about winning.

dikranovich said...

warriorssss... come out and play eh!!!

Jon said...

@dikranovich I'm the problem? Please explain how I am the problem or any problem whatsoever.

Are you afraid Landcakes will read this and it will effect his psyche?

Jon said...

@couchtest What makes you think I haven't accepted what Landon is? He's someone who goes for comfort over testing himself in an even top 15 league for more than a few weeks. I've completely accepted that. He just doesn't have it in him to play in a top league and go against the best.

Stating it's who he is doesn't equate not accepting it. Let's apply a little logic. It's fun.

paul said...

Jon, you've thrice used Donovan's choice to play in EPL as evidence to his opinion (hearsay!) that EPL would better tune him for 2010 than MLS would've. Recall that MLS was in offseason during the loan. He chose (and thrived) Everton's toughest schedule portion over couch potato, not over MLS.

Too, you say he was then afraid to stay with Everton? I recall it wasn't really an option. Everton couldn't pay, or really did didn't even try to offer, Galaxy's price to let him go.

Freegle said...

This is getting tired; All this talk about top 4 leagues and psyche and accomplishments, etc undermines Greg's original point. The bottom line is this. It is about ten months before a world cup and two of our four most important field players have chosen to play in a league that no one disputes is...
1) At a different/lower level than the pace of your typical international/world cup match and
2) below the highest standard at which each of these players is capable of playing.

As a fan of each of each player, I acknowledge that they have the right to do what they feel is best for them and my feelings on it are basically irrelevant. I am happy that they have made the decision to each take on last payday, play close to home, and make themselves happy. If anyone has earned it, they have.

As a fan of the USMNT, I am disappointed that they will be playing in a league below their maximum competition level in a season leading up to a world cup as I believe it does not prepare our team as well for the pace and skill level they will be matched against in Brazil. Also, an adjunct to that has to do with training. There is something different about training every day knowing you are fighting for a spot on the field on match day and walking onto the pitch every day knowing 90 minutes is yours.

These are simply my opinions. I know the sky is not falling and I still think that we can/will be successful at WC2014 in Brazil but there will always be a small part of me that wonders if we could have overcome whatever team eventually topples us if our players had challenged themselves at the highest level to prepare themselves for the tournament. Its simply part of being a fan. I think that was Greg's point. the rest is just conjecture and white noise.

dikranovich said...

a lot of people might tell you that the number one ethos in real estate is location, location, location, but really it is.... you have got to sell your neighborhood. this is the number one idea in real estate, above all others.

dikranovich said...

freegle, your points add to the conversation. thank you.

it should be noted that the next world cup is going to be played in the Americas, not Africa, a continent that was a most recent former colony to European imperialism. point being, euro teams aint just waltzing into brasil like they own the place, cause they don't.

lets work on winning the American champions league, the standard of that event is higher than regular season MLS. lets get into copa sud America and do some damage in that event. that is a standard that is equal to European events with the bonus of it being against south americans whom we will be facing for advancement next summer.

what about the option of playing on loan? that will be as telling as anything, if deuce or Donovan decide to undertake a loan agreement sometime before brasil, to get games in what is deemed a superior league.

bottom line, that we can all agree on is that we want landon Donovan and clint deuce to be at their best next summer.

Freegle said...

That last sentence may very well be the most cogent thing you've ever said. Everything before it was irrelevant drivel. Still... congrats on finally agreeing with the obvious!

dikranovich said...

would you like to discuss further?

Jon said...

Discuss what? Two of our top three players are chasing paydays in a league likely outside the top 20 in the world.

If it was any other similar league sentiment would b different. If Landon and Clint were chasing paydays in Norway or Sweden or the Championship most probably would be questioning it.

But because the MLS fanboy bias comes into play, it's fine if they settle here. Has anyone actually watched the level of play in the three games Clint has played in Sea? Sea look like an average Championship side going against League One sides.

Huge step down. Great for his bank account. Cool if he wants his family back in the states. But from a strictly soccer standpoint, huge step down. Same for Landon. Beating up on League One and average Championship level quality isn't all that impressive.

dikranovich said...

uc jon, take a moment and think about what you are saying. there is a huge difference between real Madrid, bracelona, and the rest of the Spanish league, financially, talent wise, and style of play. its huge. in Germany there is a bigger difference between the first team and the fifth team then there is between the fifth team, and the fiftieth team way down in the regional league. please think about that, and understand that.

the world cup is a seven game series, and players and teams that can harness their power for that seven games can prevail.

dikranovich said...

of course jozy altidore opened his account in England with sunderland against, shoot, is mk dons in the championship, or league one?

Greg Seltzer said...

What in the bewildering stampede of nonsense are you talking about now?

First of all, the World Cup is NOT a seven-game series in any way, shape or form.

Secondly, the gulf between the 1st and 5th German club is larger than the gulf between the 5th and the 50th??? Where do you get this utter tripe? Even if it was true, you have no point.

My sweet word, man. Think before you post. Stop trying to defeat everyone.

dikranovich said...

world cup finals is three games in a group stage format. a round of sixteen knockout game is the forth game. quarter finals is a fifth game. the semi finals is a sixth game and guess what the finals are.

no apologies necessary!!!

Greg Seltzer said...

Please never reproduce.

dikranovich said...

to late, but seriously, you look at mainz fc roster, forth in the bundas league, and you compare it to msv Duisburg, mid table in league three in Germany and there is not much difference in the rosters, there really is not.

Greg Seltzer said...

Please stop. If you want to say something, say something relevant and... ya know... vaguely connected to earthly reality. Mainz is fourth after *three rounds*, I doubt you could ID four players off their squad (let alone one off Duisburg's) and the 50th team at the moment by straight table ranking is Chemnitzer FC. Beyond that, a seven-game series is *best 4 out of 7* - meaning a loss in the rd. of 16, quarters or semis would quite obviously see a team sent home.

Seriously, bring it back to Earth, so everyone can participate.

dikranovich said...

I thought someone was going to get the warriors reference. it was on IFC last night. what a classic movie and such a good period piece. the score is outstanding and I thought I detected a little sexy beast during one of the scenes where the warriors were running away from the police.

I just realize, luther was luther in warriors, and in 48 hours, that's a real tribute to a character.

Jon said...

Wait, because Jozy scored against a League One side, that somehow validates Landon and Clint playing at the League One/Championship level week in, week out?

Do you not understand that 80%+ of Jozy's games this year will be against EPL clubs? Did he not just play back to back weekends against EPL clubs, while Clint is screwing around against Portland(Championship caliber) and Houston/Tor(League One caliber).

While Jozy is back against an EPL club this weekend, Clint is preparing for the Crew(League One caliber) and Landon is preparing for SJ(League One caliber) after scoring against Vancouncer(League One caliber).

Bringing up a Cup game Jozy played in means little in the grand scheme.

Jon said...

BTW, Clint obviously isn't fully fit and is still working to get back, but he largely looks like crap.

And a reason for that is his teammates are largely crap, outside of EJ, Alonso, Rosales and Yedlin(Martins out injured). Sea is probably a lower to mid table Championship level side and it shows.

I think Clint will struggle a bit in MLS and it has nothing to do with talent. It has more to do with his teammates not being all that good and the crap Sea turf he'll be playing on constantly which is a whole other concern. No top or event decent leagues have such crap surfaces as Sea.

dikranovich said...

Well, ac Milan just advanced into the champions league group stages, so maybe they will come in with a late bid for Donovan now.

Maybe a second division player in England is more valuable to the US national team than a bundas league player, playing in Germany, who happens to also be afraid to fly.

Does anyone know by the way how chandler gets around Germany from week to week? I know the got the auto bond over there, but still.

Jon said...

"SI.com: Your play over the past couple of months suggests that you really did get what you needed from your sabbatical. Have you thought about whether those same resources, those same comforts, that have reinvigorated you here would have been available if you had moved abroad? Did you need to stay in L.A. in order to remain at your best?
Donovan: I would argue that some of my best games were when I was in Liverpool with Everton.
SI.com: Absolutely, but that was always short-term.
Donovan: True. Look, my motivation comes from inside, and while I'm happy as a human being here in L.A., if I'd gone somewhere else in the coming months I still would have performed at that same level. But as far as the off-the-field stuff, it just makes life better, more enjoyable, easier, when I'm here near my family and I can do it in a place where I can call home."



Exactly, it's easier for him to stay home. Yet, he himself said some of his best games were in the EPL.

dikranovich said...

john, with a j-o-h-n, I appreciate your opinions about where you think mexico ranks on the club level, and id like to get your ranking for Holland and belgique? you think they are between 5-10?

and who do you rate higher, between Portugal and Holland, on the club scene?

and last but not least, club teams, who do you rank higher, brasil, or france?

this is very insightful stuff, so please.... a quick and what I know from you will be a honest response, would be greatly appreciated.

Jay said...

Holy shit. Jon vs dikranovich: it's a self-reproducing cluster fuck. What dark god have we offended to bring this suffering into existence? We're all doomed.

Paul Poenicke said...

Dikranovich doesn't troll NSC--he twerks NSC. And while he jumping the shark, he manages to twerk it at the same time. God, I love this site: come for the news and analysis, stay for the show.

@Jay: This is just more evidence for my Two-Face" theory of dikranovich, who in reality is a fictional online identity actualized by a deeply repressed part of Greg's subconscious mind.

Greg Seltzer said...

Paul, do not even get him started on that bullshit again.

I do not do fakes. Period. End of. And I will close down this blog before I let anyone imagine for one second that my first fake would be him.

dikranovich said...

lol, do they even have IFC in Holland. I don't think they do, and if they do, its probably some watered down, euro version, with big organic cheese sponsorship.

Greg Seltzer said...

What the hell is IFC? Independent Film Channel?

dikranovich said...

yes, and as a side not, the reggae channel is playing the melodians, rivers of Babylon at this moment. very appropriately.

John said...

@dakronovich: Insightful stuff? lmao! What do you mean by club level? I just think the Mexican league is a top 10-15 league in the world but that's just my opinion. I rate the Primeira League a bit more than the Eredivie but both are a top 10 league. And I also rate Ligue 1 a bit higher than the Brasileiro Serie A. Thank You for caring so much about my opinion Mr. Dakronovich.

dikranovich said...

john, thanks for your response. I guess the point is that MLS teams are playing Mexican club teams, but porto and benfica, and the rest of Primeira is not, yet primeira is not a top four league, and the epl is, even though Portuguese teams beat English teams, even though English teams are richer teams.

my point is that Mexican teams would play very strong against porto and benfica, and more than likely handle these teams in mexico and would fare well in Portugal, and its just an opinion. but teams don't waltz into mexico and pick up wins regularly. no teams!!!

yet we (some of us) look across the pond as if it is some be all end all, and it so clearly is not. which is not to say that the euro champions league is not perhaps the best soccer in the world and it is something to strive for as a player.

kljestan has become better playing Europe, but he was also a pretty good player before he left, and he is still developing and would have had he stayed in MLS, and he probably would have been closer to the national team and more caps.

in two, or in five years, or even now, the g. rossi types that are here in America, its going to be a different story from now on. he does not make the same choice in todays American soccer landscape.

cant you guys just feel it? aint no way this young Ethiopian American plays for Germany. zero chance!!!!

dikranovich said...

everyone should remember who the most successful franchise is in NFL history, and you can no for sure that the Steelers are far from the richest. its the culture within a team, or even a league that is what drives its success, and if people cant see that, they are missing the whole concept of sports. this is the honest to goodness truth.