I have to admit that I am the first one to make fun of Landon when he is wearing a LA jersey, and one of the first to cheer for him in a USA kit, so I am torn on how to react to him playing for Everton. See I am a Liverpool fan, but with Everton making appearances in Salt Lake a couple times in the last few years, they have grown on me as a team I am OK with, kinda like Fulham. It may be that both sides feature USMNT players, but in watching the match today between Everton and Man City, I enjoyed the match.
I was very impressed with the work rate and quality of Landycakes, he played in some great balls from the corners that he took, he didn't look to be intimidated by anyone and the pace of the match seemed to really fit his style. While he wasn't called on to be the creative force in the middle as he often is with both LA and the US, he played up front in the Everton 4-3-3 formation.
Knowing that our MLS MVP can in just a couple weeks step into a starting role with an EPL side says a lot about the progress MLS is making and about the talent that Landon clearly has, so why would he come back to MLS? He has won trophies here, it is clear he can make more money if he were to stay in England, so what does he have left to prove in MLS? Don't get me wrong I think he will come back for the start of the MLS season, to stay match fit and sharp in preparation for the 2010 World Cup, but after the Cup, I expect that if he can continue to impress at Everton over the next few weeks of his loan that several teams may be interesting in adding him to their rosters.
Does one has to wonder why some players who did well in MLS have had no problem transitioning to the level of play in Europe, while others seem to go over and simply become lost in the background of craziness that is the beautiful game in Europe? I think there is a clear message sent by this run of Landon's, players need to mature before attempting to move up to a higher level of competition. Landon has made moves to Europe in the past, only to end up back in MLS, but never have I seen him play overseas with the level of confidence that he showed today.
I hope he comes back to LA, as making fun of just Beckham is too easy but to ensure the harassment of both of them stays at a high level is a motivator to the fans of whichever team is facing the Galaxy each weekend. With him signing a new deal right after the end of the MLS season, rumored at 5 million for 4 years, I really wonder if that wasn't a formality to ensure LA would keep his rights, more than a commitment of him playing in MLS for the next 4 years?
Anyhow it was fun to watch a guy from MLS, one Real Salt Lake fans know well, play at a high level in the best league in the world.
OFF MY SOAPBOX