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23 July 2008

Landon Donovan – Can What Might Have Been, Still Be?


The blogs were lighting up yesterday with news that maybe, possibly, there was an outside chance that the United States’ own "best" international star – Landon Donovan – might be hitching a ride to England.

Max over at yanksssocer.com ran a very interesting quote from the still young Landon, hinting that England may be gaining some priority on his radar –

“The older I get and the more I play, the more I’m yearning for that highest level I can play at. I think the Premiership would be the best place to play.”

I ran an update on Michael Essien yesterday and whenever I see Essien, rightly or wrongly, I think about where Landon could be.

Both Michael and Landon were neck and neck for the top honor at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championships. In spite of losing the 3rd place match to Ghana in that tournament, the Golden Ball winner was Landon Donovan, yet Michael Essien just re-signed with one of the world’s best clubs through 2013. Essien continues to receive nominations for FIFA World Player of the Year, while Landon enjoys sunshine and long walks on the beach.

Landon is a craftsman with considerable potential, so let’s hope he can find his way across the pond – much like his Ghanaian U17 counterpart did years ago – and turn some of that potential in to results the US can be proud of.

4 comments:

cnelson said...

Where to, though? I heard Aston Villa was looking into three American players... Guzan, Donovan, and I think Micheal Bradley.

Gruffgoat said...

No word yet - Aston Villa have already moved on Guzan and apparently they were looking at Frankie Simek who just renewed with Sheffield Wednesday through 2010.

Michael Bradley has been scouted by Everton, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Sunderland...but I would be curious what's the latest if anyone knows.

Max Zeger said...

the difference between Essien and Donovan is some skill and some mental toughness. Essien is a better midfielder technically and he has had to live abroad his whole life. Donovan couldn't deal with living abroad at so young, Essien could and then developed to full potential.

Gruffgoat said...

Right! I think it may be mental toughness off the pitch rather than on that has made the difference between those two. Maybe Landon can still put in a few years in the Premiership.